Day 155: Blue Velvet 1986 + Mulholland Drive 2001

Blue Velvet 1986 + Mulholland Drive 2001

This evening has been planned for a few weeks and has been very /highly anticipated by two of the four viewers, Alicia and myself. Emily was looking forward to it. My wife was, I think, uncertain of what was in store for her.

Six hours from now I’m looking forward to tearing these films apart.

I had both films on DVD but decided for this screening on my big screen, I need to make an investment in Blu-Rays. I had to travel to Parramatta to Blu-Ray copy of Blue Velvet. That’s why we didn’t make our 5pm start.

‘Blue Velvet has little velvet’

‘Mulholland Drive has relentless drive’

Wow. Blue Velvet was exactly how I remembered it, except for the verbal violence of Dennis Hopper’s extraordinary performance. I’d not remembered just how intense Frank Booth was. How awful.

Just two weeks ago, by coincidence, I happened to watch Twin Peaks, Season 1. That proves very valuable, because Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks have a lot in common: a small town with a saw mill, a pretty blonde whose boyfriend is a jock, and a brothel which the more despicable characters frequent. There’s also velvet curtains – sometimes blue and sometimes red, music by Angelo Badalamenti, and an ineffective local police force. Lynch and his co-creator, Mark Frost, have also created a spunky, fresh-faced couple who take it upon themselves to investigate the crime – Laura Palmer’s death, Donna and James, who are very similar to Jeffrey and Sandy, who sneak around investigating a mystery that is much darker than they have anything they could imagine.

In 1990, Laura Palmer is a two-faced character in Twin Peaks. In Blue Velvet, the two faces, opposites, are represented by contrasting female characters, Dorothy and Sandy. Something bad has happened to make the talented singer Dorothy Vallens, fall into a way of life that is surrounded by evil, just as Laura Palmer is not the innocent Prom Queen whose photo is seen at the start of every episode of the television series.

Mulholland Drive, also features a fresh-faced, perky blonde and a dark-haired beauty, who has something even darker in her past. This film was exhilarating, moreso than when I saw it 16 years ago. Just exciting beyond words.