Blue Velvet Screen 21 articles

Blue Velvet

1986

Blue Velvet Poster
  • "Blue Velvet" represents something that has never been seen before and in all likelihood will never be seen again: an underground movie made with Hollywood means and Hollywood skill. It`s midnight mainstream.

  • It's personal all right, also solipsistic, intransigent, and occasionally ridiculous... The film casts its spell in countless odd ways, in the archetype-leaning imagery, eccentric tableau styling, and moth-in-candle-flame attraction to the subconscious twilight.

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    The Globe and Mil: Jay Scott
    September 20, 1986 | Great Scott! (pp. 226-228)

    Hitchcock never asked hisfans to think about the reason they wanted to witness the horror of other human beings. In Blue Velvet, which owes an incalculable debt to Hitchcock but intellectually transcends him, David Lynch does. The "mystery" is never solved on any real level: the entire film exists, like Lynch's earlier cult hit Eraserhead, in fantasy, in a place Lynch would no doubt argue is the most real level of all, the interior of the human mind. (Or at least the inside of Lynch's mind.)

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    Time: Richard Corliss
    September 22, 1986 | Via Metacritic

    Lynch and his film will surely be reviled, but as an experiment in expanding cinema's dramatic and technical vocabulary, Blue Velvet demands respect.

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    The Village Voice: J. Hoberman
    September 23, 1986 | The Village Voice Film Guide (pp. 53-56)

    Blue Velvet is a film of ecstatic creepiness—a stunning vindication for writer-director David Lynch. This is the first time since his midnight classic Eraserhead that Lynch has vented the full force of his sensibility, and the result is astonishing.

  • Grafting on to this story his own idiosyncratic preoccupations, Lynch creates a visually stunning, convincingly coherent portrait of a nightmarish substratum to conventional, respectable society. The seamless blending of beauty and horror is remarkable - although many will be profoundly disturbed by Lynch's vision of male-female relationships, centred as it is on Dorothy's hunger for violence - the terror very real, and the sheer wealth of imagination virtually unequalled in recent cinema.

  • Fourteen years can be enough to lessen the shock of any movie. But you don’t have to go any further than the first image of David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” — a billowing blue velvet curtain that pulses like a thin membrane separating us from a subterranean world — to feel in your bones that the film’s disturbing and sensuous hold hasn’t lessened a bit since 1986.

  • Lynch is less concerned with self-reference than he is with charting the uncomfortable crawlspace between boyhood and manhood. The many rooms of Blue Velvetare fascinatingly representative of internal moods: the white walls of the virginal Sandy's home; the garish blues and vaginal pinks of Dorothy's kitschy modern apartment; and the cluttered, homely look of the Beaumont home.

  • The last real earthquake to hit cinema was David Lynch's Blue Velvet —I'm sure directors throughout the film world felt the earth move beneath their feet and couldn't sleep the night of their first encounter with it back in 1986—and screens trembled again and again with diminishing aftershocks over the next decade as these picture makers attempted to mount their own exhilarating psychic cataclysms.

  • Few movies have deeper roots in the primal allure of mystery and our thirst for those things dangerous and unknown. But equally, there is Lynch’s unironic yearning for the superficial simplicities of life in iconic small towns like Blue Velvet’s Lumberton... This is David Lynch’s America, and for two hours, it’s a surreal-creepy-funny privilege to return there.

  • Dark, violent, sexual, and reeking of 1963 suburbia, the film is at times a noir mystery and at others a violent thriller. Still dangerous twenty-five years later, the film is as gorgeous as it is classic.

  • Lynch ushered in a new era of movies and TV programs that attempted a similar (or identical) rot-beneath-the-small-town dichotomy, like Picket Fences, American Beauty, The Truman Show, Hot Fuzz, The Mist, South Park, Dogville... among countless examples. None approach Lynch’s film in terms of tone and control, the fusion of unlike halves mastered with a kind of honest-faced plainness that was, in some ways, the one truly unprecedented part of Lynch’s personality.

  • Booth presides over Blue Velvet like a storm cloud, foreboding even when he isn’t showering bile and blood down upon those unfortunate enough to be in his radius. He’s among Lynch’s most potent embodiments of evil, yet he cannot be dismissed as a mere cackling lunatic. What disturbs most about Frank is that his most twisted impulses ultimately cannot be separated from the cultural trappings so deeply imbricated within them.

  • Propelled by a blistering Dennis Hopper performance and a memorably surreal MacGuffin, this nightmarish ode to obsession and voyeurism would have made Hitchcock blush.

  • In illustrating a complete loss of bodily control as the ultimate expression of postmodern domesticity, the film offers the alternative of embodying the disorienting postmodern condition of corporeal homelessness... Thus the hilarious, terrifying and exhilarating experience of watching Blue Velvet is to experience of the postmodern elements of one’s own body that were always already there to begin with.

  • In Blue Velvet, quite the opposite is true: the infamous Hopper-Rossellini “Mommy!” sequence is doubly electric because of the cold stare of Lynch’s mastershot, as is the later scene at Ben’s apartment (a similarly bizarre angle on Ben’s ethereal, tacky version of Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams”). Like an approximation of the Ludovico Technique, this image is never entirely subjective and never entirely objective...

  • Three decades after its initial release, David Lynch's Blue Velvet has lost none of its power to derange, terrify, and exhilarate... Blue Velvet, much like Mulholland Drive (2001), its closest cognate, exists in a bizarre present never quite untethered from the past.

  • The mastery of Lynch’s probing, drifting camera and the wide range of colors and moods in Frederick Elmes’s photography help elevate the film’s Freudian-tinged, quasi-existential crisis, which some Eagle Scout might have on an unexpected semi-hallucinatory trip home, into something truly wonderful. Blue Velvet is a film predicated on precise details, frequently flipping the accepted understanding of what should or should not be emphasized in a narrative film.

  • Blue Velvet has weathered the passage of time... possibly better than any Hollywood movie of its decade. The shock of the new fades by definition, but if it has hardly done so in the case of Blue Velvet, that may be because its tone remains forever elusive. To peruse the early reviews is to sense the emergence of the slipperiest of sensibilities, one that no one quite knew how to talk about. To encounter or revisit the film now, decades later, is to realize that we still don’t.

  • In the autumn and winter of 2014-15, an exhibition of David Lynch’s early pieces, The Unified Field, was on display at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts... The exhibit featured sculpture, painting, and short films, all of which explored the same paradigms that are at the forefront of his films, specifically the looming and inescapable darkness in moments of light. Blue Velvet is the blackest expression of that darkness; it’s the raincloud over a sunny town in Middle America.

  • It's about how America is an idea, a surface, an indistinct image. It’s about the simple ways we can corrupt that image for personal gain. It’s perhaps Lynch’s most trenchant and political film.

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