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The Blue Velvet Project

Blue Velvet, 47 seconds at a time by Nicholas Rombes

The Blue Velvet Project, #39

bvpict39

Second #1833, 30:33

1. Jeffrey: Can you drive this car?
Sandy: Yeah, but . . .
Jeffrey: Leave it in front of my house for me, okay?

2. In Haruki Murakami’s novel IQ84, a group of characters discuss the implications of an act they have committed:

You throw a stone into a deep pond. Splash. The sound is big, and it reverberates around the surrounding area. What comes out of the pond after that? All we can do is stare at the pond, holding our breath.

3. One month after Blue Velvet’s U.S. release, another David’s movie was released, David Cronenberg’s The Fly, produced by Mel Brooks’s studio Brooksfilms, which had also produced Lynch’s Elephant Man in 1980.

4. Brundle (Jeff Goldblum): You’re jealous! I’ve become free, I’ve been released, and you can’t stand it! You’ll so anything to bring me down. Look at me. Does this look sick? Does this look like a sick man to you?

5. In this frame, at second #1833, Sandy’s face answers Brundle’s question, as if the question itself had leaped from one movie to another, and as if Jeffrey’s transformation was an internalized version of what happened to Brundle in The Fly, and as if, finally, we as viewers were somehow implicated in the telepathic gaze that connects Sandy/Jeffrey/Brundle.

6. The problem that all great disintegrative art—like The Fly, or Blue Velvet, or IQ84—addresses is not the evil that comes out of the pond once the stone has been thrown. Instead, these works recognize this terrifying fact: the evil was not in the pond, after all, but in the one who threw the rock.

Over the period of one full year — three days per week — The Blue Velvet Project will seize a frame every 47 seconds of David Lynch’s classic to explore. These posts will run until second 7,200 in August 2012. For a complete archive of the project, click here. And here is the introduction to the project.

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