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The Blue Velvet Project

Blue Velvet, 47 seconds at a time by Nicholas Rombes

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 you see that?
JEFFREY: Aunt Barbara that was five years ago.

A sliver of that deadpan humorous tension between Jeffrey and his aunt remain in the shooting script. Seven months before the film’s release, Ronald Reagan, in his 1986 State of the Union address, said, “Tonight I want to speak directly to America’s younger generation because you hold the destiny of our nation in your hands. . . . As they said in the film Back to the Future, ‘Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.’” Back to the Future had been released in 1985, near the symbolic zenith of the Reagan era (Lynch had been a Reagan admirer) and one wonders: if Reagan were to have quoted from Blue Velvet what lines would he have chosen? Probably not Frank’s incantation, “Now it’s dark,” but perhaps instead Sandy’s description of her dream where “all of a sudden thousands of robins flew down and brought this blinding light of love.”

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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