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The Blue Velvet Project

Blue Velvet, 47 seconds at a time by Nicholas Rombes

The Blue Velvet Project, #121


Second #5687, 94:47

Jeffrey approaches Sandy’s house, to pick her up for a date.

He wears a black shirt and a white tie.

Neither he nor the audience, at this point, know the meaning of the police car.

The lens flare cuts the screen in half horizontally.

In the fantasy, science fiction dimension of the film, the blue light is a laser beam, aimed at Jeffrey.

The car is Detective Gordon’s, the Man in Yellow.

He will enter the house, and will spook Jeffrey.

In response, Detective Williams will take him by the shoulders and tell him: “Easy does it, Jeffrey. Behave yourself. Don’t blow it.”

In a different context, he could be warning Jeffrey—who has just told Sandy that she “looks great”—to watch his behavior with her on their date.

What is Jeffrey a detective of, now?

“The idea was to eradicate it, not figure it out.” (from the novel Death Sentences, by Kawamata Chiaki)

Jeffrey has decided to eradicate Frank.

The frame at second #5687 comes amidst a sequence of short shots that convey an enormous amount of narrative information. To slow this down, I’ve taken the first frame from each shot (with the exception of the dissolve shots) and presented them, below. The dissolves between shots 2 and 3 are strange and surreal and offer a story within a story that will be the subject of Wednesday’s post.

Shot 1 frame 1: Jeffrey watering lawn, foreshadowing happy ending

Shot 1 dissolving into shot 2: hospital room

Shot 2, frame 1: hospital room

Shot 2 dissolving into shot 3: police car light

Shot 2 dissolving into shot 3, frame 2: police car light

Shot 3, frame 1: police car light

Shot 4, frame 1: Jeffrey approaching; the frame at second #5687 comes from this shot

Shot 5, frame 1: Sandy in living room awaiting Jeffrey

Shot 6, frame 1: Yellow Man enters house, calls out for Detective Williams

Shot 7, frame 1: Mrs. Williams acknowledging Yellow Man

Shot 8, frame 1: Yellow Man leans deeper into house

Shot 9, frame 1: Jeffrey turns to Yellow Man

Shot 10, frame 1: Detective Williams notices Jeffrey’s anxious reaction to Yellow Man

Shot 11, frame 1: Jeffrey turns to Detective Williams in shock and maybe a false sense of betrayal

Shot 12, frame 1: Yellow Man sees Jeffrey, perhaps recognizes him from earlier

Shot 13, frame 1: Detective Williams warns Jeffrey not to “blow it”; Jeffrey obeys and acts as if he does not recognize Yellow man

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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