The Blue Velvet Project

Blue Velvet, 47 seconds at a time by Nicholas Rombes

  • The Blue Velvet Project, #3

    Second #141 Some considerations: • Frederick Elmes’s lush, Freudian colors. • The hyper-red STOP sign, a warning to the audience? • The Eraserhead-like hair of the crossing guard. • The second and fourth child, carrying the same sort of brown paper lunch bag that Jeffrey would use later to transport the scissored ear to Detective Williams. • The cultishness of the film, already gathering in the open-furnace sky in the background. • The fact of SCHOOL taking up the entire lower-third of the screen, and the fact that Jeffrey is “home from school.” • The trust of children. • The…  Read more

    On Aug 12, 2011
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  • The Blue Velvet Project, #2

    Second #94: Lynch had been thinking about Blue Velvet since at least as early as 1973, and while his previous two films (Dune and Elephant Man) had been based on well-known stories, Blue Velvet was a return to the trembling, inner-psychic terrain of Eraserhead. In an earlier version of the script, Jeffrey’s mom and his Aunt Barbara pick him up from the airport after he’s forced to leave college because of the financial burden of his stricken father’s medical bills. As they drive into town, there is this exchange: AUNT BARBARA: They tore down the A & P, Jeffrey. Did…  Read more

    On Aug 10, 2011
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  • The Blue Velvet Project, #1

    And so we begin our year-long journey through Blue Velvet, stopping every 47 seconds. Although released in the U.S. in September 1986, the film lingered at the dark edges of the imagination until the spring of the following year, when it was released on home video by Karl-Lorimar. The rapid ascendency of the VCR and the proliferation of rental stores (in 1980 there were only approximately 2,500 rental stores in the U.S.; by 1987 this had increased to over 27,000) meant that Blue Velvet found its way into the very same sort of leafy small towns as Lumberton. The titles…  Read more

    On Aug 8, 2011
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  • Now it’s Dark… The Blue Velvet Project

    Last year, after becoming a fan of Nicholas Rombes’s “10/40/70” series at The Rumpus, I did a short interview with him for the blog. I asked about his approach to film criticism, which involves extrapolating larger meanings from a film’s isolated moments. (His “10/40/70” series critiqued films by looking at the scenes occurring at those precise minute marks). His reply: When I first started teaching film in the early 1990s, we’d screen them on via VHS tapes playing on VCRs hooked up to TV sets. Pausing a film for an extended period of time to look at the composition of…  Read more

    On Aug 7, 2011
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