Blue Velvet (Lynch, 1986)

David Lynch has a way of expressing mood like no other director I’ve come across. In Blue Velvet, his mise-en-scene is textured with specific qualities existing primarily to advance atmosphere over story, something he even delves deeper later in his career in my favorite Lynch film Mulholland Drive. What strikes me about this viewing of Blue Velvet (a film I hadn’t seen since high school), has to do with Lynch’s use of sound and music as cues to character’s impressions, desires, and ultimately changes in perspective. Even Frank’s sniffs on the oxygen tank reveal character, each horrific gasp a glimpse into his monstrous and unexamined upbringing. Lynch’s obsessions with the fringes of the mind have never been more colorful or controlling than in Blue Velvet, the last scene with the bug in the bird’s mouth a prime example of a hidden, disturbed underground constantly knocking on the front door of the “normal” American family. Brilliant.

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