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The Blue Velvet Project

Blue Velvet, 47 seconds at a time by Nicholas Rombes

The Blue Velvet Project, #33

Second #1551, 25:51

Jeffrey: I’m gonna try to sneak in tonight. It’s Friday. Do you have a date?
Sandy: Yeah. I do.
Jeffrey: Well. (pause) That does that.


“The historian of cinema faces an appalling problem. Seeking in his subject some principle of intelligibility, he is obliged to make himself responsible for every frame of film in existence. For the history of cinema consists precisely of every film that has ever been made, for any purpose whatever.” –Hollis Frampton


For a time, in the 1980s, it seemed as if Reagan’s victory would be permanent. There was comfort in this, as well as terror. Jeffrey’s car, in this frame, the soft easiness of its interior, offered a glimpse of that comfort. It was the job of Blue Velvet to portray that comfort and then to destroy it.


Music is important in Blue Velvet. What is the musical equivalent of a film frame? A single? And if so, the A-side or the B-side? Or is it the thread-like groove of a vinyl record? How many pieces, after all, constitute a whole? Perhaps the beauty and danger and allure of the frame is that it reminds us that the whole, after all, is nothing but pieces.

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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