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The Blue Velvet Project

Blue Velvet, 47 seconds at a time by Nicholas Rombes

The Blue Velvet Project, #84

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Second #3948, 65:48

“Can a photograph be lonely?” is a question asked in Don DeLillo’s novel Libra. Another version of the question might go, “Can a photograph make a person lonely?” How about a movie frame? How deep can loneliness get, at 24 frames per second? What follows, below, is a visual descent into loneliness, just under two seconds in movie time. It happens so quickly in movies, moments like this. We remember them not frame-by-frame, but decompressed, stretching out and out, a kiss that lasts forever. A kiss that, in our memory, takes up more film time than it actually does, as if we don’t want to let go of it, as if we want this kiss and the fragile moments that
lead up to it to last and to survive beyond reason. Is it really possible that a few moments of a movie–like these moments–can somehow alter the course of a person’s life? Give hope just when we needed hope? Can a kiss between actors on a screen mean something more than a mere kiss between actors on a screen? How is it possible that we are still moved, even though we know that it’s just a movie? So here it is: 41 sequential frames leading up to a kiss. Just under two seconds of screen time, slowed down into a vertical flip book.

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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