College student Jeffrey Beaumont returns to his idyllic hometown of Lumberton to manage his father's hardware store while his father is hospitalized. Walking though a grassy meadow near the family home, Jeffrey finds a severed human ear. After an initial investigation, lead police Detective John Williams advises Jeffrey not to speak to anyone about the case as they investigate further. Detective Williams also tells Jeffrey that he cannot divulge any information about what the police know. Detective Williams' high school aged daughter, Sandy Williams, tells Jeffrey what she knows about the case from overhearing her father's private conversations on the matter: that it has to do with a nightclub singer named Dorothy Vallens, who lives in an older apartment building near the Beaumont home. His curiosity getting the better of him, Jeffrey, with Sandy's help, decides to find out more about the woman at the center of the case by breaking into Dorothy's apartment while he knows she's at work... Written by
The prosthetic ear found by Kyle MacLachlan's character at the beginning of the film is on permanent display at Movie Madness (Video Store) in Portland, Oregon. See more »
Coke glasses appear out of nowhere when Jeffrey and Sandy are in the diner. See more »
It's a sunny, woodsy day in Lumberton, so get those chainsaws out. This is the mighty W.O.O.D., the musical voice of Lumberton. At the sound of the falling tree, it's 9:30. There's a whole lotta wood waitin' out there, so let's get goin'.
Mr. Beaumont? Your son Jeffrey's here to see you.
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A mesmerizing piece of cinema with element of masterpiece...
The sexual revolution in film came some ten years after the label's coinage in the late Sixties. It probably began with Last Tango in Paris. Directed by the acclaimed Bernardo Bertolucci, Last Tango is notorious for a sex scene involving Marlon and roughly a third of a stick of butter. Theretofore sex in film could potentially be used as a means of revealing the lightest or the darkest character's traits: primarily, vulnerability, instinct, sadism and impulse. Blue Velvet is a good example of a movie using such a dynamic. Blue Velvet is not a film that is easily appreciated. Likewise, it is not a film that is easily forgotten. It is a timeless controversy, and it is a vision demanding attention if not praise.
Set in a small American town, Blue Velvet is a dark, sensuous mystery involving the intertwining lives of four very different individuals. The film's painful realism reminds us that we are not immune to the disturbing events which transpire in Blue Velvet's sleepy community. There is a darker side of life waiting for us all. And as a critic said 'you either think it's dementedly wild at heart or a lost highway to nowhere'. Even some eighteen years after the release of Blue Velvet its vision remains wildly adamant relative to the stride of other works of contemporary noir. There have been many films about suburban crime, but none as dangerously imposing as this. Why is that so?
If Blue Velvet might not be labeled as a masterpiece one has to acknowledge that there are in this movie a lot of so called 'masterpiece element' and if Blue Velvet will never be considered as Mr. Lynch best feature, I personally can see a lot of David Lynch's genius flowing in that movie.
First of all, the way David Lynch makes Blue Velvet increasingly disturbing is a perfect example of how pristine the dynamics of weirdness and tension are built (remember Eraserhead and Elephant Man). Through this process Mr. Lynch indeed deconstructs the audience expectations. The film setting and mood are introduced in an exposition lifted directly from older films (there are numerous references to It's A Wonderful Life). In result the film is initially expected to follow a particular path. The way Mr. Lynch associate elements of classic narrative methodology and 'his dynamics of noir' (previously explained) appears to be original at worst 'avant gardiste' at best.
Second of all, the opposition between the creepiness of the plot and the setting of it is definitely for me a masterpiece element. The film is set in Lumberton. This does not represent a quaint, small town by similarity; it is one. Lumberton is filled with characters that are completely typical. I can almost see the cops eating doughnuts in the coffee shop and the local football star dating the head cheerleader. This typicality is definitely not out of coincidence but of intention. In fact these characters function to punctuate the story, not to distinguish it. The 'infamous' individuality of Lynch's vision is established in the darker side of Lumberton. Our perspective throughout the film is fixed on Jeffery, and is deliberately biased by his good nature. Jeffery is portrayed with great subtlety by Kyle MacLachlan (FBI agent from "Twin Peaks"). He is paired with Sandy (Laura Dern), the daughter of a neighborhood investigator who epitomizes to perfection the 'girl-next-door'; in Blue Velvet it is her literal function. Completing this diverse list of roles is a haunting and brief performance by Dean Stockwell as well as Dennis Hopper who creates a flabbergasting portrait of unrepentant and irredeemable evil. The confrontation or those characters or the collision among themselves makes for a mesmerizing experience.
Once again Mr. Lynch succeeds in the masterful exercise of controlling the audience's attention. Most of us will not quite know what to make of it and we can disagree on the value of such a cinematic experience. However audacious, erotic, disturbing, haunting are adjectives that will always be linked with Blue Velvet. The 'Thriller' has just been re-invented by Mr. Lynch right in front of our eyes.
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