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The Blue Velvet Project

Blue Velvet, 47 seconds at a time by Nicholas Rombes

The Blue Velvet Project, #105

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Second #4935, 82:15

1. The car has come to a halt. Jeffrey’s crime has been to look at Frank, just as we also have been looking at the film itself.

2. “I shoot when I see the whites of the eyes,” Frank says at this moment, almost directing his stare at us, but not quite. This is either the statement of a psychopath or of a film director.

3. In Don DeLillo’s 1997 novel Underworld, there are these sentences:

There is no space or time out here, or in here, or wherever she is. There are only connections. Everything is connected. All human knowledge gathered and linked, hyperlinked, this site leading to that, this fact referenced to that, a keystroke, a mouse-click, a password—world without end, amen.

But she is in cyberspace, not heaven, and she feels the grip of systems. This is why she’s so uneasy. There is a presence here, a thing implied, something vast and bright. She senses the paranoia of the web, the net.

4. Blue Velvet on the Web, in frozen frames that course through the information system as a fraction of the blood of the thing.

5. Dorothy—“out here, or in here, or wherever she is”—her face turned away from us.

6. The car’s implied dome light giving sculptural depth and shadow to Frank’s face.

7. And finally: the sliver of light on the dashboard between Frank and Dorothy. Is this small object the “In Dreams” cassette tape from earlier, the equivalent of the blue key in Mulholland Drive? A small, fractured piece of horror, the brightest, most glowing object in the frame.

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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