The Score: 10 out of 10
David Lynch received the Academy Award nomination for Best Director three times in his career: The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986), and Mulholland Dr. (2001). Although he never won the award, we argue he earned it each time. Strong arguments have been made that each of these could be considered Lynch's masterpiece, each film clearly ranking among the best films ever made. Even those who prefer Lynch's other projects will acknowledge the important place these three films occupy in his body of work. Blue Velvet is a powerful film, completely unique to his style. No other director could have made it the way David Lynch did.
|Isabella Rossellini (Daughter of Ingrid Bergman) Receiving Direction|
from David Lynch on the Set of Blue Velvet
After feeling like the dog wagged by his tail on Dune (1984), David Lynch took a step back to a simpler and less stressful form of film making on Blue Velvet (1986). Regrettably, Lynch would never again command the hundreds of cast and crew he once had available on Dune. The subtlety and nuance Lynch leant to that sprawling production is commonly overlooked and it is a shame he would never get a chance to paint with such rich colors again. But getting back to his more personal and experimental film-making roots was undeniably useful to Lynch, resulting in one of his most celebrated accomplishments.A.O. Scott's Retrospective
Blue Velvet (1986) would be polarizing among audience members and critics alike. Even those who love the picture can find it difficult to recommend with its frank depiction of violence, rape, drug use, and its portrayal of sadomasochism. Here is a brief clip where Siskel and Ebert argue passionately over the film.
But even among those who cannot stand the film's content, most will confess the film is a powerful cinematic journey contrasting the good and evil in humanity. David Lynch creates in Blue Velvet (1986) a film every bit as engaging and intriguing as anything done by Alfred Hitchcock. Whether emphasizing the voyeuristic elements of Rear Window (1954), the shocking twists of Psycho (1960), or the subjective surrealism of Vertigo (1958), Blue Velvet is a modern-day masterpiece and among the best mystery/suspense films ever produced.
Siskel and Ebert's Review
|David Lynch Receives the Greatest Honor a Hollywood Director Can Earn: Final Cut|
David Lynch "Canadian TV" InterviewDino assuaged Lynch's fears, but explained if he included final cut in the contract, then every other director would demand the same from him in the future. But Dino did offer Lynch his word that for all intents and purposes, Lynch would have final cut on Blue Velvet (1986). Within certain reasonable constraints, Lynch would have final approval on all editing decisions, the lack of that power arguably dooming their previous collaboration together, Dune (1984). Dune went from being a sprawling three hour epic to a truncated 2 hour 15 minute compromise. The two men shook hands on it and Dino was a man of his word.
|A Bizarre, Yet Realistic Mystery Shockingly Unfolds Before Your Eyes...|
|Dennis Hopper's Contributions to the Film Helped Cement it as a Classic|
SHE WORE BLUE VELVET
|Isabella Rossellini's Touching Portrayal of Dorothy Vallens|
A Desperate Woman Living in Constant Terror
The Opening Sequence
Lounge Singing Scene
|Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight (2008) Seems Influenced by Hopper's Frank Booth in Blue Velvet (1986)|
|Frank Booth Smears Lipstick All Over His Lips and Sticks a Knife Next to Jeffrey's Face|
While Carrying on a Bizarre, Protracted Conversation with the Terrified Young Man
The Mysteries of Love
This scene summarizes the impact of Blue Velvet (1986). The film could have devolved into a saccharin mess on one end, or an overpoweringly dark and bleak tale on the other. In any other director's hands it would have likely skewed in one direction or the other. But in the hands of David Lynch, the material transcends into an ethereal opus keeping the audience engaged and in suspense regardless of the number of times you watch the film. Alfred Hitchcock would be proud of Lynch's achievement.
THE MAKING OF BLUE VELVET
|David Lynch Continues His Rewarding Collaboration with Kyle MacLachlan|
From Dune (1984) to Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
|On the Right: Jack Nance Plays One of Frank Booth's Hapless Toadies|
|David Lynch Admiring an Artificial Frank Booth Before Shooting a Complex Special Effect|
|David Lynch and Isabella Rossellini Fell in Love|
and Were Engaged Four Years
David Lynch often portrays abused female characters with empathy and understanding, like he would go on to do in his most famous mainstream production, the Twin Peaks TV series. Dorothy Vallens in Blue Velvet would later usher his ultimate woman of mystery: Laura Palmer. In many ways, Twin Peaks (1990-91) would echo the themes, images, and tone of Blue Velvet (1986) from the big screen to the small screen and to the big again with the underrated Twin Peaks prequel feature film Fire Walk with Me (1992).
Mary Poppins (1964), the robins arrive on the scene to dispose of the creepy, crawly insects living under the picturesque lawn. This robin, like Jeffrey, has descended below the superficial world, learned and gained experience while down there, defeated the monster, and returned back to the world of light victorious.
Blue Velvet (1986) is finally being released in 1080p High Definition Blu-Ray on November 08, 2011! Order your copy from our Movies We Recommend web store or via the Amazon link to the left to support this blog. As we noted earlier this year, David Lynch announced the recent discovery of 50 minutes worth of deleted scenes from Blue Velvet once thought lost forever, which he will remaster and include in the special features of this release.
You can also watch Blue Velvet in the excellent special edition DVD sans the deleted footage. The 'making of' documentary on both the Blu-Ray and DVD is surprisingly detailed and is worth the time of any Lynch fan or student of film making. We also look forward to Benedict Fancy's upcoming 25th anniversary retrospective documentary: It's a Strange World - The Filming of Blue Velvet, which should provide an interesting look at the crew's experience in North Carolina making the film with David Lynch.
Blue Velvet (1986) Theatrical Trailer
|Blue Velvet U.S. Blu-Ray Release: Nov. 08, 2011|
Wild at Heart (1990) Theatrical TrailerIn 1990 Wild at Heart won the Palme d'Or, the top honor at the Cannes Film Festival. Many consider it David Lynch's most random and bizarre film, filled with more extreme violence, gratuitous nudity, and sexuality than in most his other work. Most fans of David Lynch seem to rank this film near the bottom of their list of Lynch's films. But Lynch maintains an oddly comedic tone to this bleak and horrific road movie and his mastery of raw cinematic power is clear from the opening scene to its bizarrely beautiful ending.
Sailor Confides to LulaThe film follows two lovebirds on an absurd road trip through America's heartland, played by Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern. Dern's real-life mother Dianne Ladd plays her evil mother in the film, a figurative and literal wicked witch. The motifs and themes of The Wizard of Oz enter the mix, at times making Wild at Heart feel unusually raw and experimental compared to David Lynch's other films. The movie plays as a darkly disturbing farce, but some of the more strange and bizarre elements that repel mainstream audiences are the very things that attract its counterculture audience. It is an expertly crafted film, winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes for a reason.
WILD AT HEART (1990)
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