The Blue Velvet Project

Blue Velvet, 47 seconds at a time by Nicholas Rombes

The Blue Velvet Project, #110

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Second #5170, 86:12

In the spirit of the humor of the scene from which this frame is taken (and because it’s Friday) this is a post of a different stripe. Part of what constitutes Blue Velvet’s weird chemistry is its humor, the humor that lies at the end of despair and that arises out of a confrontation with the absurdity of evil. Frank is terrifying in this scene—having just wiped some lipstick from Jeffrey’s face with that talismanic swatch of blue velvet—but also oddly funny. He is a monster, but also pathetic, and the aura of theatrical performance he has created for his assault on Jeffrey—the make-up, the music, the dancing woman on the car top—conspire to give the scene a sort of sad humor. In a few moments, Frank will begin slugging Jeffrey and the film will veer into even darker terrain. But for now—in this frame—Lynch has opened up a space for us to enjoy the absurdity of the moment.

In this spirit of absurdity, here is footage of the screen grab capturing of second #5170. Around 36 seconds into the clip below, the audio switches to a snippet of movie dialog I recorded in a theater in 2010 from a film that one critic called “shamelessly manipulative.”

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.