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The Blue Velvet Project

Blue Velvet, 47 seconds at a time by Nicholas Rombes

The Blue Velvet Project, #77

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Second #3619, 60:19

See shot 9 from the previous post (#76).

Frank, here, is someone caught between the hipsterism of the 1940s and the 1990s, his Pabst Blue Ribbon signifying the working man’s authenticity as opposed to the soft, foreign Heineken, the baby-faced college boy’s beer. And yet Frank aspires to suaveness in his soft nightclub shirt and beer poured into a glass, not drunk out of a bottle.

Frank is a slave to a fixed idea. When he watches Dorothy on the stage, what does he really see? What if there’s something in Dorothy that’s only available to him, and what if Dorothy’s fear of Frank is not based on what he has done or is capable of doing, but rather on her knowledge that Frank can see this part of her that is invisible to everyone else? It’s a heretical reading of the film, I know, to suggest that Frank and Dorothy share a secret, invisible bond, a recognition that makes their relationship the most authentic and significant in the film.

He holds in his hands a piece of blue velvet, but it might just as well be a human ear or a chunk of flesh or a blue key or a weapon aimed at Dorothy. He is a leader of men. He has a gang. He commands loyalty through fear and, perhaps, magic. His face in this frame is a measure of his longing and sorrow. He can’t be saved because he doesn’t have a soul.

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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