Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blue Velvet

There is a Blockbuster’s worth of "classic" movies I have yet to see, and a record store’s worth of "classic" albums. Thankfully I now have Netflix, and BitTorrent. I am attempting to fill in those gaps. Please do not send notes saying "zomg, i can't believe u haven't seen/heard _____." Please do send suggestions.

Blue Velvet

So, what the fuck is up with Blue Velvet? I felt bad enjoying myself during this movie, for two reasons: there are a lot of rape scenes, and I truly can’t explain why I enjoyed it.

Some of the small-town dialogue is atrociously bad – soap opera bad (that’s the point, I think). Several scenes make little sense, unless you think really, really hard about why the curtains are red rather than blue (thinking hard is the point, too, I think). Kyle McCullough is a less-than-charming Michael Cera thrown into the middle of a screwed-up, not screwball, murder mystery: painfully awkward, making decisions for no logically apparent reasons. An obscenely skinny, pre-Jurassic Park Laura Dern is also the love interest, and Isabella Rossalini talks crazy the whole movie. This is weird.

Yet here I am, finding Blue Velvet to be not only artistically meaningful, but also thoroughly entertaining . It's all in the "iconic" scene (Who knew? Not me, until I read about it afterward.) where Suave Ben sings some Roy Orbison. I started smiling – until I realized the most poignant part of the scene is a tear in the eye of a sadomasochistic-kidnapper-rapist. That would be Dennis Hopper who flips a switch from crazy to sad and back to even more crazy in, like, 90 seconds. The only similar thing I’ve seen was Anna Kendrick, in Up in the Air, after receiving an unpleasant text message. She should win an Oscar for that scene alone, if Mo’Nique hadn’t risen from the ninth circle of hell in the form of Precious’ mother.

Kyle McCullough says this at one point in Blue Velvet: “OK. It's a strange world, Sandy. This is what I have found out. What I think I have found out.” He goes onto make a lengthy connection of many dots seemingly out of thin air. It’s a mystery. It’s a strangely enjoyable movie. This is what I have found out, I think.

Reeves Wiedeman