Logline: After finding a severed human ear in a field, a college student investigates the strange circumstances surrounding a mysterious nightclub singer.
Review: Welcome to the wonderful and weird world of David Lynch. His fourth feature film, Blue Velvet is a modern American masterpiece. Like so many of Lynch’s works, the film explores the dark underbelly of small town America.
Blue Velvet is a film that will surely divide viewers. It is a unique, disturbing, and bizarre piece of cinema that is unmistakably Lynchian in its themes and style. The exploration of the dark side of human nature and small town America is a recurrent theme throughout Lynch’s work, most notably in his seminal television series, Twin Peaks (1990-1991).
The opening sequence is brilliant and sets the tone of the entire film. Images of suburbia America fill the screen: white picked fences and well manicured lawns. However, a man suffers a stroke and Lynch’s camera delves closer into the blades of grass to reveal swarming insects. The implication is clear. The seemingly perfect facade of this small town is hiding the dark and sinister things that lie beneath the surface.
The film is perfectly cast. Kyle MacLachlan, Laura Dern, and Isabella Rossellini are all superb in the film’s key roles but Dennis Hopper steals the film as Frank Booth, an evil and terrifying man.
Despite the film’s dark subject matter, the ending is actually quite hopeful (at least on the surface). With tones of Hitchcock, Blue Velvet remains a shocking portal into the underbelly of a small town. “It’s a strange world.” Indeed it is Jeffrey, indeed it is…
Great scene: The opening sequence