Blue Velvet DVD
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Directed by David Lynch
Produced in 1986
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - American film
Conceived at the height of Reaganite family values, at a time when most movie teenagers were fretting about what to wear to the prom, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet remains genuinely disturbing – a rare English-language riff on the violence of sex, and what happens when bodies come together after dark. In yet another era of stifling political and cultural conservatism, it now comes back – in the form of this Special Edition – to haunt us again, like a refrain of the Bobby Vinton song from which it takes its title.
More so than the experimental Eraserhead or the overblown Dune, this is the film which established Lynch’s name: a murder-mystery with echoes of the director’s later Twin Peaks yet linear enough to sate those befuddled by Lost Highway or Mulholland Dr.. That said, a brief synopsis of the plot only points up how far off the beaten path it strays: Jeffrey (Kyle MacLachlan), a young Dale Cooper, stumbles across a severed ear in a field and, while investigating the discovery with his small-town sweetheart (Laura Dern), becomes involved in a semi-sadomasochistic relationship with Italian
chanteuse Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) and her brutal gangster lover (Dennis Hopper).
Alternately swooning and nightmarish, it’s sufficiently multi-layered to merit multiple viewings. Lynch’s sound design should give home cinema systems everywhere a workout, and the film is full of easily missed verbal and visual puns which tend towards the disconcerting rather than funny: look again at the tangled hosepipe in the opening scene which appears to match the valves of Jeffrey’s stroke victim father, and listen out for the chainsaw in the local radio station jingle which might initially seem banal but suggests more extremities are liable to be lopped off before the film’s end. As Dern herself remarks: “It’s a strange world, isn’t it?”
Mike McCahill on 2nd March 2004
Author of 215 reviews
In Blue Velvet, a severed ear embroils clean-cut Kyle MacLachlan in a nightmarish underside to respectable suburban America. With Dennis Hopper deliciously terrifying, Lynch's direction inventive and assured, this sensual and voyeuristic mystery-thriller is one of the most deservedly acclaimed films of the 1980s.
MacLachlan stars as naive young Jeffrey Beaumont, who becomes involved in murder, voyeurism, sado-masochism and a terrifying evil after he discovers a severed ear in a deserted field. Isabella Rossellini plays the nightclub singer Beaumont becomes obsessed with, a woman ensnared in a brutal relationship with the psychopathic Frank (Hopper).
Publisher: Universal Pictures
Length: 115 mins
Cat No: 8288798
Format: DVD Colour
- Interview with Dennis Hopper (45 Mins).
by Anon on 28th March 2003
One of the last surrealists the cinema has left, David Lynch's films are infused with a sense of humour and fear, a fear that is in awe of the condition of being human... Read on
One of the last surrealists the cinema has left, David Lynch's films are infused with a sense of humour and fear, a fear that is in awe of the condition of being human. Kyle MacLachlan is the inquisitive hero, Jeffrey Beaumont, whose life becomes irreversibly entangled in the dark underside of American suburbia following a strange discovery. Soon he is having an affair with a disturbed nightclub singer, falls in love with a detective's daughter and sees peculiar sexual gratifications closing in around him. Isabella Rossellini is terrific as the chanteuse dressed in blue, flanked by Dennis Hopper's brutally violent Frank. Dean Stockwell performs an iconic moment as the unfortunate Ben, singing Roy Orbison's "In Dreams", in this timeless and lyrical vision of an erotic cancer which haunts people's hearts. Hide
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