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The Blue Velvet Project

Blue Velvet, 47 seconds at a time by Nicholas Rombes

The Blue Velvet Project, #74

Second #3478, 57:58

Jeffrey’s return to Dorothy’s apartment is framed in a shot radically segmented by top-to-bottom of screen vertical lines, such as the door itself, the doorway, the protruding wall, the closet doors. This lends a certain crazy dimensionality to the scene, with Dorothy occupying the foreground, Jeffrey the middle ground, and the hallway wall behind him the background. And yet all this appears on a flat screen. Gerald Mast, in Film/Cinema/Movie (1977) asked whether we

perceive the projected image as two-dimensional at all? The very fact that we call one object in the projected image apparently close to or far away from another implies that there is some kind of mental translation of the two-dimensional image into three-dimensional terms. In the cinema, when we see large and small, we translate our perception into either close and far (based on our awareness of relative distances and the sizes of objects in life) or into not so close or far . . .

There is the small red chair: little Donny’s?

The plants that seem to have multiplied, in pots the same color as the radiator.

Jeffrey stands in a quadrant that occupies roughly the same amount of screen space as the closet, which he had hidden inside of earlier.

The menace of the doorway, like a threshold from one dream into another.

The sense that there is someone in the hallway with Jeffrey, just out of Dorothy’s line of vision.

The impossible space inside the closet, which is on a wall whose other side is presumably the hallway where Jeffrey now stands. There is no closet space within the closet, no room for a person to hide.

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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