When I was in college, I would often hear about Blue Velvet. All along, I thought these people were talking about National Velvet, the 1944 film about horse racing starring Elizabeth Taylor/Mickey Rooney. I didn't recall Dennis Hopper being in it or the film being rather bizarre. If anything, it was a film that my sister liked when we were younger.
Somewhere along the way, a nice friend of mine explained what the difference was between the two films. There's no Elizabeth Taylor, horses or syrupy music in Blue Velvet and there's no Dennis Hopper, oxygen masks or dismembered ears in National Velvet. On top of that, I seriously doubt that my sister would like Blue Velvet.
I can't give a movie review of Blue Velvet right now because I haven't seen it the whole way through. No, I didn't stop it because I was offended or grossed out; the copy I rented from Netflix had two long scratches on it. I didn't realize they were there until I reached the 35-minute mark of the film, when Jeffrey is in Dorothy's closet and she confronts him with a knife. Noticing my DVD player skipping a few seconds at a time, I realized that I was missing important dialogue, even if it was a loud interrogation. Trying to fast-forward and rewind a few times, I gave up and alerted Netflix about the problem. A replacement is coming my way in a day or two, but I can't help but be annoyed.
I'm not angry at Netflix, but I found it very funny that the movie started glitching when the movie shifts into a much more tense atmosphere. I look forward to watching the rest of the movie when it arrives. I hear I'm in store for some really crazy stuff when Dennis Hopper's character shows up.
Why I'm writing all about this is because I'm really digging Lynch's work. I saw Mulholland Dr. a few years ago, but had yet to see any of his other work until recently. Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Dr. have strange happenings in places that look perfectly fine on the surface. I know we all have skeletons in the closet, but I find these films to have more than just skeletons in closets. There's a dark sense of comedy (especially in Twin Peaks), but it's surrounded by all sorts of oddball stuff.
Luckily, this is not oddball for the sake of oddball. Lynch creates puzzles more than straightforward films and you have to pay incredibly close attention. I learned this right away with Mulholland Dr. as I'm still not completely sure what all happens in that movie. Mixing dreams and reality to a point where it's confusing, the clues are more in the atmosphere than in the dialogue. So, I had to stop my glitching copy of Blue Velvet because I was sure that if I skipped to the next chapter, I would be missing crucial stuff. I've got a whole hour and a half to go before I can even begin to understand what's what with Blue Velvet. To be continued . . .