BackBack to selection

The Blue Velvet Project

Blue Velvet, 47 seconds at a time by Nicholas Rombes

The Blue Velvet Project, #34

Second #1598, 26:38

The open space surrounding the car. The feeling of freedom. The two car mirrors, one of them reflecting Jeffrey’s face. The pink barrette in Sandy’s hair, and the impossible beauty of the length of her arm. The light between the branches and leaves of the trees, and the way those trees fill most of the frame. The vanishing point near the middle of the screen, doubling back on us via the rear view mirror. Sandy and Jeffrey talk in a car, but not a moving car.

The emergence of mechanical reproduction is accompanied by modernity’s increasing understanding of temporality as assault, acceleration, speed. There is too much, too fast. . . . Time is no longer the benign phenomenon most easily grasped by the notion of flow but a troublesome and anxiety-producing entity. . . .One of the most important apparatuses for regulating and storing time was the cinema.
–Mary Ann Doane, The Emergence of Cinematic Time

The frame captures movement deferred, delayed, paused. It breaks one spell only to cast another. In this frame, the tension between Sandy and Jeffrey practically spills out of the borders (“Just so the record is kept straight though,” Sandy says just a few seconds prior to this frame, “I love Mike.”) The captured image, freed from the tyranny of time and motion, becomes its own object, operating by its own codes, some of them secret.

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.

© 2024 Filmmaker Magazine. All Rights Reserved. A Publication of The Gotham