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Blue Velvet

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David Lynch's "controversial" version of what really goes on in the American small town: rather more squirm-producing and shrug-inspiring than (as you may have heard) shocking or provoking or, at the very least, rib-tickling. So far from it being warped and twisted and depraved somehow, the proper complaint with this movie is that it is altogether too schematic, didactic, and moralistic. And the fact that it is also winkingly campy makes this worse, not better. Ostensibly the plot is a traditional detective story (with a post-adolescent Hardy Boy as detective), but lacking the sort of solid, credible foundation which would be worthwhile and meaningful for an army of metaphorical termites to infest. Without that, we are thrown into an extreme and widening orbit of oddity in the unrewarding vein of Lynch's Eraserhead. Visually more in the vein of his Dune, however, the movie is shot in heavy dark nauseating colors, especially when indoors, so that it looks at times as if it takes place inside a Christmas fruit cake. And at all times it moves as if it had just wolfed down a whole one all by itself, and would really rather lie down somewhere. Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Laura Dern, Dennis Hopper. (1986) — Duncan Shepherd

Rated R
"Strange Cinema present Blue Velvet"

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