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"Now It's Dark..."
A review of David Lynch's BLUE VELVET
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Jeffrey: I’m seeing something that was always hidden. I’m involved in a mystery. And it’s all secret.

Sandy: You like mysteries that much?

Jeffrey: Yeah. You’re a mystery. I like you. Very much.

Blue Velvet (1986) is the quintessential David Lynch film, filled with quirky humor and shocking violence. It features one of the most terrifying villains in all of film: Frank Booth, brilliantly portrayed by Dennis Hopper. Blue Velvet is a “mystery” story. Sometimes it is described as neo noir. But it is more than just a crime drama. It is a much darker shade of noir.

Blue Velvet is about the great mysteries of life. It is a coming-of-age tale about callow college-boy Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLaughlin) becoming a man. It is also an initiation tale, with sexual, spiritual, and political dimensions. A good mystery can be engaging but superficial. Blue Velvet is powerful and moving because its archetypal, religious, and philosophical themes stir deeper parts of the soul.

Jeffrey’s initiation into the mysteries is a descent into the underworld: both a literal, criminal underworld as well as the “deep river” of the unconscious, including obsessive and sadomasochistic sexuality. But Lynch also hints that the unconscious is not merely human, but a portal through which essentially demonic powers enter our world.

Jeffrey conquers and controls these forces, returning to the sunlit world not only as a man but as a guardian of the social and the family order. In his journey, he has encountered the libidinal, criminal, and demonic forces that can tear society apart, and he has learned about the artifices of civilization that keep chaos at bay. Politically speaking, this is a profoundly conservative vision.

After the nocturnal opening titles, with their elegant script, shimmering blue-velvet backdrop, and lush, Italianate theme music by Angelo Badalamenti, the famous opening sequence sets up the whole story. To Bobby Vinton’s oldie “Blue Velvet,” we see a clear blue sky, then our eyes descend to red roses in front of the archetypal white picket fence. An old-fashioned firetruck drives by, complete with dalmatian, a fireman benevolently waving from the running board, a gesture that subtly puts the viewer in the position of a child. Then we see yellow tulips. A crossing guard carefully shepherds little girls across the street.

It is a vision of childlike wholesomeness and safety. Indeed, all the adults are people charged with keeping the public safe. The guardians of public safety are an important theme in Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks.

Then we see the modest Beaumont house. Mr. Beaumont is watering the yard. Mrs. Beaumont is watching a crime drama on TV—the first hint of darkness—although the gun on the screen usually elicits a laugh, and it is all tidily contained on the tube. Then we hear an amplified gurgling and see Mr. Beaumont’s hose snagged and kinked on a branch. As he yanks the hose, he is suddenly stricken and falls to the ground, water geysering everywhere. Then we see him on his back, a baby in diapers watching as a terrier seems to attack the water squirting from the hose. The film slows, giving the dog both maniacal and mechanical qualities. Then we dive into the well-watered lawn, down to the roots, where in the darkness we find a writhing mass of beetles and other insects fighting and devouring one another.

Next we hear a corny radio jingle, which welcomes us to Lumberton, an idyllic logging town in the mountains of North Carolina, the model for the titular town in Twin Peaks, Lynch’s next project.

Young Jeffrey Beaumont has been called home from college to visit his stricken father and help run the family hardware store. On the way home from the hospital, Jeffrey discovers a severed human ear in a field. It has greenish splotches of decay on it, and it is crawling with bugs. Bugs, again, are associated with evil.

Jeffrey puts the ear in a paper bag and takes it to Detective Williams (George Dickerson) at the Lumberton Police Department. Detective Williams immediately begins an investigation. He and Jeffrey first take the ear to the morgue, where the medical examiner observes that it had been cut off with scissors. Then they go to the field to search for evidence.

Cut to later that evening. A door opens, and light descends into a darkened stairwell. Jeffrey descends into the darkness as well. His journey into the underworld has begun. He tells his mother (Priscilla Pointer) and fretful aunt Barbara (Frances Bay) that he is going out walking. “You’re not going down by Lincoln, are you?” asks aunt Barbara fearfully. Jeffrey says no. It seems a silly prejudice, but later we realize that it was well-founded. Bad things happen down by Lincoln. (Odd that Lynch chose that name, associated with a President unpopular in North Carolina.)

As Jeffrey walks the neighborhood, we cut to a closeup of the ear in the morgue. There is a loud humming as we enter the ear, then everything fades to black. This too is a descent into mystery, into the underworld.

Cut to Jeffrey knocking at the door of the Williams house. Jeffrey wants to know more about the ear, but Detective Williams can’t tell him, and asks him not to disclose anything he already knows, until the case is concluded. Detective Williams is stern but warm, a surrogate for Jeffrey’s stricken father. He tells Jeffrey that he understands his curiosity. It is what got him into police work in the first place. “It must be great,” Jeffrey volunteers. “It’s horrible too,” he replies. But Jeffrey seems undaunted. He is on a path that may lead him to becoming a guardian of public order, someone who exposes himself to evil, risking his life to serve the common good.

When Jeffrey leaves the Williams house, he hears a voice: “Are you the one that found the ear?” He looks into the darkness. Detective Williams’ daughter Sandy (Laura Dern) emerges from the night, a pink-clad blonde vision of loveliness. She is coy and mysterious, teasing Jeffrey with her knowledge of the case.

As they walk together, she tells him that she overheard her father talking. The ear may somehow be connected to the case of Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini), a singer who lives nearby. Sandy leads Jeffrey to Dorothy’s apartment building. With a slightly comic/ominous music cue, the camera pans up to the sign: Lincoln St.

The next afternoon, Jeffrey picks Sandy up after school. They go to Arlene’s, a diner that is the prototype of the RR in Twin Peaks, right down to the passing logging truck. Jeffrey then tries to involve Sandy in a scheme. He wants to look around Dorothy Vallens’ apartment. He will pretend that he is the pest control man, there to spray for bugs (which are of course already associated with darkness and evil). Sandy will pretend to be Jehovah’s witness, with copies of Awake! magazine, who will draw Dorothy away, allowing Jeffrey to open one of the windows for a later visit. (There is an interesting Manichean polarity in their covers, mirrored in Jeffrey’s near black and Sandy’s golden blonde hair.)

How Jeffrey plans to get in a seventh-floor window is not explained, but he hasn’t really thought it out. He doesn’t even know Dorothy’s name or apartment number without Sandy’s help. When we arrive, we see that Dorothy lives in the Deep River Apartments, a nomen that may also be an omen of Jeffrey getting in way over his head. (Betty Elms, in Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, hails from Deep River, Ontario.)

Dorothy’s apartment is pure Lynch: retro, slightly dingy, with dusky pink walls and carpets, dark red draperies (shades of Twin Peaks), lavender sofas, magenta cushions, and putrid green accents in the form of pots with spiky “mother in law’s tongue” plants. The warm colors have a womblike feel, but the overall effect is seedy and sluttish, not maternal. Jeffrey does not manage to find a window, and before Sandy can knock, Dorothy is visited by a glowering man in a bright yellow sport jacket. But he does manage to pocket an extra pair of keys, hoping they will unlock the apartment.

That evening, Jeffrey takes Sandy to dinner at The Slow Club to watch Dorothy Vallens sing. She doesn’t have much of a voice, but she still makes a captivating spectacle, with her huge retro microphone and blue-lit band against dark red draperies, more foreshadowing of Twin Peaks. Then Jeffrey and Sandy return to Dorothy’s apartment. When Sandy says goodbye, she tells him, “I don’t know if you’re a detective or a pervert.” Jeffrey sneaks inside. When Dorothy comes home suddenly, Jeffrey hides in the closet. Peering through the slats, he watches her undress. It turns out he’s both a detective and a pervert.

Dorothy hears a rustling in her closet and confronts Jeffrey with a knife, jabbing him in the cheek when he does not answer one of her questions. She thinks he is a voyeur. But instead of calling the police, she orders him to undress. Then she kneels, with a worshipful look on her face, and pulls down his boxer shorts. She kisses and caresses him but also threatens to kill him, demanding that he neither look at nor touch her. Then she asks if he likes that kind of talk. He doesn’t. She tells him to lie down on a couch, following him knife held high like a stage actress. Then she gets on top of him, knife poised, and kisses him.

Terrified by a loud pounding on the door, Dorothy hustles Jeffrey into the closet and orders him to stay silent. Jeffrey is the voyeur again, poised to witness one of the weirdest and sickest scenes in all of cinema. Enter Frank Booth, a middle-aged man in a leather jacket and rockabilly shirt, seething with unfocused rage. Frank and Dorothy then role-play a sexual scenario not unlike the one that has just transpired with Jeffrey, although this time Frank is in control.

Frank’s scenario is very specific. Dorothy has to wear a blue velvet robe, provide him with a glass of bourbon, dim the lights and light a candle (“Now its dark,” he says), and sit on a particular chair. He demands that Dorothy not look at him and punches her savagely when she does. (She looks at least three times.) Loosening his inhibitions by swigging the bourbon, then huffing some sort of gas from a cylinder under his jacket, he refers to her as “mommy” and himself as “baby” and “daddy.”

He begins by viewing her vagina, then pinching her breasts, then, red-faced and maniacal, he hurls her to the floor, threatens her with a pair of scissors, then pantomimes intercourse, yelling “Daddy’s coming home, daddy’s coming home.”

He has a fetishistic attachment to her blue velvet bathrobe. She stuffs it in his mouth, he stuffs it in her mouth, and he even carries around a piece of it that he has cut from the hem, perhaps with the scissors he uses to threaten her. When it is all over, he blows out the candle. “Now it’s dark,” he repeats.

As Jeffrey later says, “Frank is a very sick and dangerous man.” A drug dealer, he has kidnapped Dorothy’s husband Don and their small boy, Donny, holding them hostage to force Dorothy into sexual bondage. It is Don’s ear that Jeffrey found, cut off as a threat to Dorothy, perhaps with the same scissors with which he menaced her. Frank has removed Dorothy’s real baby and daddy so he can have “mommy” all to himself.

But Dorothy’s own disturbing behavior makes it hard to view her as simply a victim. When Frank screams “Don’t you fucking look at me” and punches Dorothy, her head lolls back with an ecstatic smile on her face. When she looks at him again and again, is she asking for it? She herself has forced Jeffrey to strip at knife point, ordering him not to look at or touch her while she looks at and touches him. One way to make someone into an object is to forbid them from being a subject.

When Frank leaves, Jeffrey creeps out of the closet to comfort Dorothy, who first claims she is all right. Then she asks Jeffrey to hold her, referring to him as her husband Don. Either she is delirious or simply playing a role. The latter seems more likely. For without missing a beat, she begins to seduce Jeffrey, asking him to look at her, then touch her . . . then hit her. Now she’s literally asking for it.

A feminist would automatically claim that Dorothy has been so traumatized by Frank that she is simply reenacting her trauma with Jeffrey. But another possibility suggests itself. Dorothy is very much in control with Jeffrey. She is not so worried about Frank or her husband and son that she cannot start an affair with a new man.

It is interesting that when Jeffrey tells Dorothy that he knows what has happened to her husband and son, she is impassive. She only reacts when he suggests telling the police, and she uses her reaction to finally goad Jeffrey into hitting her.

This awakens something in both of them, represented by a burst of flames bringing to mind similar effects in Lynch’s next movie, Wild at Heart, as well as slowing down the film and replacing the sound of their lovemaking by distorted animal shrieks and growls. This is Jeffrey’s baptism in the deep river of repressed animal sexuality. Jeffrey is in way over his head, but Dorothy is in firm control.

Did Frank undergo a similar initiation? Was the kidnapping his way of seeking somehow to regain a semblance of control in the throes of an obsession?

Now it’s really dark.

There are a number of clues that point to Frank’s deep sexual abjection. As the “baby” he can pinch Dorothy’s breasts. But as “daddy” he merely pantomimes intercourse. Frank may actually be impotent. At least he is with Dorothy.

When Jeffrey returns to The Slow Club, he sees Frank in the audience, fondling his blue velvet fetish, deeply moved by Dorothy’s performance, almost at the edge of tears.

The night Dorothy goads Jeffrey into hitting her, he bumps into Frank and his gang as he leaves her apartment. Frank flies into a jealous rage, forcing Jeffrey and Dorothy to go on a “joy ride.” At their first stop, Frank says: “This. Is. It.” And sure enough, a red neon sign reads: “This Is It.”

But it is hard to say what “it” is. It seems like a retirement home for old fat whores. The interior color scheme is very much like Dorothy’s apartment. It is littered with beer and prescription bottles and presided over by a flamboyant aging homosexual named Ben, hilariously played by Dean Stockwell, all pursed lips and rolling eyes. Ben is involved with Frank’s drug trade and is holding Dorothy’s husband and son hostage.

Frank goes on and on about how “suave” Ben is, with his smoking jacket, ruffled shirt, and long cigarette holder. Every other word is “fuck.” When Ben proposes a toast to Frank’s health, he hilariously rejects it, suggesting “Here’s to your fuck” instead. After transacting some drug business, Frank asks Ben to lip-sync to Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams,” which Frank childishly refers to as “Candy-colored clown,” a phrase in the first line of the song.

Ben switches on an inspection light, which he uses as a fake microphone, giving his powdered face a ghastly pallor. One gets the feeling that Ben has done this kind of thing before in a thousand drag shows. When we get to the words, “In dreams you’re mine, all the time,” Frank’s face becomes agitated, and Ben fearfully cuts short the mime. Frank shuts off the tape, Ben shuts off the light, and Frank says, “Now it’s dark.” Then they make to leave, Frank’s departing words: “Let’s fuck. I’ll fuck anything that moves!”

Next stop is a sawmill near Meadow Lane. Frank begins huffing his gas, then tells Jeffrey, “You’re like me.” Thanks to Dorothy, that’s now truer than Jeffrey would like to think. Then Frank begins to pinch Dorothy’s breasts, hurting her. Jeffrey tells Frank “Leave her alone,” then punches him in the face. He’s already slapped Dorothy around that evening. He’s getting comfortable with this.

Frank flies into absolute fury. His henchmen drag Jeffrey out of the car and hold him. There’s an ominous industrial thrumming and thumping in the background, as in Eraserhead. Frank puts on Dorothy’s lipstick then kisses Jeffrey all over his face, saying “pretty, pretty,” huffing more fumes, and threatening to kill him he sees Dorothy again.

While “In Dreams” plays in the car and one of Ben’s vacant whores dances on the roof, Frank repeats the words “In dreams, I walk with you. In dreams, I talk to you. In dreams you’re mine, all the time. We’re together in dreams, in dreams,” adding the words “forever in dreams.” He places a hand to Jeffrey’s ear and “lip-syncs” the words like it is a sock puppet. One thing is for sure: Frank is going to haunt Jeffrey’s dreams for the rest of his life. Frank is putting his disease in him.

Frank caresses Jeffrey’s face with his blue velvet fetish, wiping off the lipstick. Flexing his biceps, he tells Jeffrey to feel them. “You like that? You like that?” Then Frank begins beating Jeffrey senseless while Dorothy screams. Cut to a guttering candle. And now it’s dark.

Frank’s constant talk of fucking, as well as merely pantomiming the act with Dorothy, suggest he is impotent. The song “In Dreams” is also about unrequited love for someone who can be possessed only in dreams, itself very close to sexual impotence. Frank’s repeated compliments to Ben, as well as the lipstick, kisses, and “feel my muscles” routine with Jeffrey, strongly suggest latent homosexuality.

The guy is a mess.

Jeffrey recovers consciousness in the morning. In addition to the pain of the beating, he feels pangs of guilt as well, for he too has tasted the pleasures of sadism. In some way, he really is like Frank.

Jeffrey resolves to go to Detective Williams at the police station but discovers that Williams’ partner, Detective Gordon, is the “yellow man,” one of Frank’s partners in crime. That evening, we see Jeffrey emerge from the dark carrying an envelope, suggesting his return from the underworld. He shares his findings with Detective Williams, who begins plotting to take down Frank and his gang.

A couple days pass. It is Friday. Jeffrey waters the lawn, visits his dad, then picks up Sandy to go to a party. They are now officially dating. After the party, they are followed by a menacing car. They think it is Frank, but when the car pulls alongside, Sandy sees that it is her jealous ex-boyfriend Mike. When they pull up to the Beaumont house, Mike threatens to beat up Jeffrey, but then Dorothy Vallens staggers out of the dark, beaten and bloody. Mike stammers out an apology, and Jeffrey and Sandy take Dorothy to the Williams house to call an ambulance.

Sandy cringes in horror as Dorothy calls Jeffrey her “secret lover” and repeats, “He put his disease in me.” In truth, Dorothy is the one who put her sadomasochistic disease in Jeffrey.

After Dorothy is taken to the hospital, Jeffrey goes to her apartment and finds evidence of Frank’s fury. Dorothy’s husband Don is dead, his brains blown out, Frank’s strip of blue velvet stuffed in his mouth. The yellow man is standing in the middle of the room in shock, a huge hole blown in the side of his head, brain matter visible. Over the yellow man’s police radio, Jeffrey hears that the raid on Frank’s apartment has commenced. As Jeffrey leaves, however, he sees Frank approaching the apartment. He rushes back inside, calls for help on the police radio, grabs the yellow man’s gun, and hides in the closet.

Frank, who has heard the call on his police radio, bursts into the apartment. Yanking his swatch of blue velvet from Don’s mouth and draping it over the silencer of his pistol, then huffing his mysterious fumes, he searches for Jeffrey in the bedrooms, calling out “Here pretty, pretty” like he is summoning a dog. Returning to the living room, he silences the TV and topples the yellow man with bullets, then realizes Jeffrey is in the closet. Huffing more fumes, he ecstatically closes in for the kill, but Jeffrey sees him coming through the slats and shoots him in the head. The voyeur has become an actor.

The slow-motion headshot is accompanied by a terrifying simian shrieking. The bulbs in the floor lamp then surge with electricity and burn out, as if Frank’s life force is fleeing through the wiring. In the visual code established in Eraserhead this signifies the presence of the supernatural, especially the demonic. Frank is somehow both more and less than human.

There is a strong spiritual-religious element to Blue Velvet, as with all of Lynch’s work. Although Lynch himself is a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, which makes him a Hindu of sorts, the spiritual imagery of his movies tends to be Western, primarily Christian but also Gnostic. I read Eraserhead, for instance, as a Gnostic anti-sex film. Like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet treats sex as a form of bondage to subhuman powers, both animal and demonic. But Blue Velvet is far less nihilistic than Eraserhead. The demonic forces are balanced out by angelic ones, represented by robins and light from above, as opposed to electric light, which for Lynch has demonic connotations.

The night after his first terrifying encounter with Frank, Jeffrey tells Sandy what he has seen. Sandy picks him up in her car, an odd role reversal putting her in the driver’s seat. She parks near a church with colorful stained-glass windows, brightly lit from inside. Organ music plays in the background.

Jeffrey prefaces the story of Frank and Dorothy with the words, “It’s a strange world,” which becomes something of a Leitmotif in the film. After telling Sandy who Frank is and what he has done, Jeffrey asks “Why are there people like Frank? Why is there so much trouble in this world?” His face is anguished and childlike, for he is just discovering the darkness of the adult world. Jeffrey’s question is not merely psychological. Given the backdrop of church and organ music, it is also theological. It is the problem of evil: If God is perfect in his power and goodness, why are there people like Frank? What is there so much trouble in this world?

Sandy says she doesn’t know the answer. But she does in a way. For she tells Jeffrey of the dream she had the night they met:

 

In the dream, there was our world, and the world was dark, because there weren’t any robins. And the robins represented love. And for the longest time, there was just this darkness. And all of a sudden, thousands of robins were set free, and they flew down and brought this blinding light of love. And it seemed like that love would be the only thing that would make any difference. And it did. So I guess it means, there is trouble till the robins come.

 

As Sandy speaks of the blinding light of love, one realizes the organ music is not coming from the church. It is part of the score, underscoring the essentially religious nature of her dream. Love, light from above, and robins are the forces that will beat back hate, darkness, and bugs. Evil is only temporary, until the robins come. Sandy has essentially delivered a religious sermon, sitting in the driver’s seat.

After Jeffrey’s first encounter with Frank and Dorothy, we see him on the sidewalk. He emerges from darkness. Then he freezes as a light comes from above. Is this the light of judgment? Then we see distorted images of Jeffrey’s father in the hospital, then Frank raving, then the guttering candle, then Dorothy saying “Hit me.” We then see Frank punch at the camera. Is he hitting Dorothy or Jeffrey at this point? Jeffrey then awakens from a nightmare.

After Jeffrey kills Frank, Sandy, her father, and a legion of police and paramedics arrive on the scene. Even though Jeffrey has rescued himself, we only really breathe again when we see the flashing lights and guardians of order. In the middle of the bustling crime scene, Jeffrey and Sandy embrace and kiss, bathed in white light from above. There is trouble till the robins come.

Cut to an extreme closeup of an ear. Near the beginning of the story, we were drawn into the mystery by entering the dead ear to ominous industrial noise. Now we are at the end of the story, the mystery solved, emerging from a pink and living ear to Julee Cruise’s ethereal “Mysteries of Love” (yet another foreshadowing of Twin Peaks).

As the camera pulls back, we see that the ear belongs to Jeffrey, sleeping in the sunshine. He opens his eyes and sees a robin perched in a tree. Sandy calls out, “Jeffrey, lunch is ready.” Mr. Beaumont is out of the hospital, up on his feet, working on something in the yard with Detective Williams. Jeffrey’s mother and Mrs. Williams are chatting together in the living room. The families have come together. It is a sign that Jeffrey and Sandy have a serious relationship. Perhaps marriage is in the future.

Aunt Barbara and Sandy are preparing lunch in the kitchen when the robin appears on the windowsill with a bug squirming in its beak. The forces of good have quelled the forces of evil. “Maybe the robins are here,” says Jeffrey.

“I don’t see how they could do that. I could never eat a bug” volunteers aunt Barbara, before stuffing something that looks vaguely bug-like in her mouth. Aunt Barbara is a robin without even knowing it. Thus Blue Velvet vindicates all guardians of public order, even the silliest and least self-conscious form, namely prejudice: “You’re not going down by Lincoln, are you?”

“It’s a strange world, isn’t it?” observes Sandy.

Then we see the yellow tulips, the friendly fireman, and the red roses. But before we return to the blue sky, we see Dorothy Vallens and her little boy in a park. She picks him up and holds him, smiling, although her face then takes on a sad and haunted look.

It is the happiest ending possible after such a hellish journey.

What is the political philosophy of Blue Velvet? I read Lynch as fundamentally conservative. The typical sneering Leftist take on Lynch’s opening is that the idyllic surface of Lumberton is fake and kitschy, whereas the truth about Lumberton is the bloody struggle of vermin in the dark. But Lynch’s own view is far more nuanced.

Lynch knows that civilization is artificial, a construct, a triumph over nature. But Lynch is not a liberal or a Leftist because he does not think that nature is good. Thus he does not conclude that the conventions that constrain nature are bad. Lynch thinks that nature is profoundly dangerous, especially sex and sadism, which for him have a supernatural, demonic quality. Lynch does not believe in the “natural goodness” of man. He believes in the natural—and supernatural—badness of man. Which means that human nature needs to be constrained by human conventions.

Frank Booth is Lynch’s portrait of what you get when the breakdown of social repressions liberates nature. The French Revolution ended with the Terror. The Sixties ethic of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll didn’t lead us back to the Garden of Eden. It gave us the Tate-LaBianca murders, the Weathermen, and Frank Booth.

Frank is not just a sex maniac. He is a drug dealer. His partner in crime, Ben, sells both sex and drugs. Frank uses alcohol and also his mysterious gas to break down his inhibitions and release his sadism. Moreover, Frank always has his Roy Orbison soundtrack tape handy. Finally, to channel F. Roger Devlin for a moment, Dorothy Vallens can also be seen as an example of the havoc created by female narcissism, masochism, and hypergamy when social conventions break down.

Sade knew human nature better than Rousseau.

Many viewers note that the robin at the end is clearly fake, some sort of puppet. It might simply have been the best effect that Lynch could create with the available budget. But it could very well have been intentional. The bugs represent hate and evil whereas the robins represent love and goodness. The bugs are darkness; the robins are light. If the bugs represent nature, then the robins have to represent something other than nature. In Sandy’s dream, they clearly have a supernatural aspect.

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But another opposite of nature is convention, in which case it makes sense to have an obviously artificial robin. The robin represents the conventions that hold the savagery of nature in check, including the guardians of public order: the police, firemen, paramedics, even the crossing guards. These conventions also include moral principles, manners, and even Aunt Barbara’s prejudices.

Although Blue Velvet was Lynch’s fourth feature film, it was really the first where he had both creative control and an adequate budget. (Well, maybe not for the robin.) The Elephant Man (1980) and Dune (1984) gave Lynch adequate funding but no creative control. Eraserhead (1977) was entirely Lynch’s baby, but he created it over a period of years on a shoestring budget. It is a measure of Lynch’s genius that the very first time he had the financial and creative freedom to fully realize his vision, he created what is arguably his greatest film. Certainly it is his most Lynchian.

 
• Category: Arts/Letters • Tags: David Lynch, Movies 
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  1. Even before reading all of the piece. Damn, one of my favorite movies. Truth to be told, though, Isabella Rossellini in real life has, how to put it mildly, fetish of being naked. She kinda fits well. A quintessential Lynch’s film, with Roy Orbison agreeing to redefine his music and, of course, with Kyle and Dean Stockwell (damn, his lip-syncing act is amazing in its creepiness) of Dune fame. Lynch should have found place (and role) for Brad Dourif in this film–he would have complemented freak-show greatly. It was after Blue Velvet that I seriously got into John Zorn music.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
    , @DennisW
  2. Anonymous[287] • Disclaimer says:

    Lynch knows that civilization is artificial, a construct, a triumph over nature. But Lynch is not a liberal or a Leftist because he does not think that nature is good. Thus he does not conclude that the conventions that constrain nature are bad. Lynch thinks that nature is profoundly dangerous, especially sex and sadism, which for him have a supernatural, demonic quality. Lynch does not believe in the “natural goodness” of man. He believes in the natural—and supernatural—badness of man. Which means that human nature needs to be constrained by human conventions.

    David Lynch still desperately tries to revel in anti-nature. That’s his falling and that’s the reason his “work” is still promoted.

    He was always obsessed with the seductive side of the anti-nature and that’s why his energy is long gone. Therefore, he’s been an obsessive-compulsive shell for decades and his “creative” output hasn’t been creative since the last episode of Twin Peaks S02 (telling).

    • Replies: @JackGarbo
  3. @Andrei Martyanov

    Dourif is in Blue Velvet, as Frank’s henchman Raymond, but only has a couple lines.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  4. @Trevor Lynch

    Dourif is in Blue Velvet, as Frank’s henchman Raymond, but only has a couple lines.

    Yes, of course. I meant to say more profound role. Dourif’s creepiness in Dune as Piter De Vries is off the hook.

  5. @Andrei Martyanov

    De Vries is off the hook.

    Damn it–I meant to say “off the scale”. Friday, duh.

  6. Jack ⧝ says:

    Excellent essay. I haven’t seen Eraserhead but I’ll take you at your word that it’s a Gnostic anti-sex film. If so, then Blue Velvet is a step towards a more traditional Christian view. He seems to be looking for the solution to the problem that he correctly diagnoses.

    The Christian view is not that nature is good or bad but that nature is fallen. It was created good but has become twisted. It is “mixed” – not unlike what Plato says in The Republic, that this world is a mix of real being and becoming (illusory being). Satan “put his disease into it.” Lynch is right that sexuality is, in the fallen state, a gateway for demonic energies. C.S. Lewis pointed out that man’s sexual appetite is uniquely out of proportion to his actual needs. One need only look at the contemporary state of the postmodern West to see the consequences of libido dominandi. As Jean Baudrillard said, today sex is everywhere except in the sexual act itself.

    Lynch links man’s capacity for sexual depravity – for committing all manner of other crimes because of sexual desire, such as sadism – to the unconscious. Julius Evola had a similar view, and criticized modern psychology for regarding the unconscious as the “real man” rather than what it actually is: the dregs of lower, animal existence that need to be transcended as man moves spiritually upward.

    So in Blue Velvet, the best Lynch can offer is as you say: civilization is fake, but when you see (fallen) nature for what it really is, fake civilization with its constraining mores is preferable. Conservative pessimism. This is not a position that appeals to anyone; it’s a position that one arrives at from recognizing the need for God but not being able to believe in Him. What Christianity says is that fallen nature – at least, fallen human nature – can be redeemed, and that the vision of harmonious existence which Lynch’s civilized veneer only hints at can be real, but it can only happen through the grace of God. Man cannot heal himself.

  7. Human nature is constant, or at least changes so slowly as to be constant for all practical purposes.

    The constraints of society and the discontents they impose are not, unless you call a tendency to increase a constant.

    In a state of less societal constraint, you might say that Lynch’s preference of convention over nature would be good thing.

    In the world we live in, and have lived in since the ascendency of millennial protestantism calling itself progressivism, we are in a state of excess “convention,” i.e., restraint. The default name for people who want more convention in American politics is “liberal,” not “conservative.”

    The fact that attempts at greater attempts of restraint contrary to human nature results in misery and disorder may puzzle some, but is predictable.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  8. syonredux says:

    Jeffrey conquers and controls these forces, returning to the sunlit world not only as a man but as a guardian of the social and the family order. In his journey, he has encountered the libidinal, criminal, and demonic forces that can tear society apart, and he has learned about the artifices of civilization that keep chaos at bay. Politically speaking, this is a profoundly conservative vision.

    Very nicely put.

  9. @donald j tingle

    The Left is all about freedom. It ends up being totalitarian because people are vicious when you let them, and Leftism licenses people to be vicious and hateful to its designated enemies of freedom and humanity.

    The Left, being ascendant and safe, should logically attract legions of hateful people who want to express themselves in a socially sanctioned manner against largely helpless victims. SJWs. Antifa.

    Sam Francis coined the concept of anarcho-tyranny to describe the dynamic of Leftism: the underlying drive is the anarchic loosening of social restraints while tyrannizing over the enemies of humanity who want to “cling” to the vestiges of an orderly society.

    The Right is all about order. That does not mean that the Right thinks that everything done by the state is lawful or orderly.

  10. @Jack ⧝

    I very much appreciate your thoughtful comment. This is where I disagree with you:

    What Christianity says is that fallen nature – at least, fallen human nature – can be redeemed, and that the vision of harmonious existence which Lynch’s civilized veneer only hints at can be real, but it can only happen through the grace of God. Man can’t heal himself.

    Realism and utopianism are opposites. Conservatism is realistic. Leftism is utopian. Christianity is politically realist right up to the point that it posits that God can redeem human nature. This is why Christian conservatives are weak allies of the Right. They know that Leftism could only come about by magic. But they believe in magic.

    I disagree with you that “Man can’t heal himself.” Ultimately, only man can heal himself, if he can be healed at all, because there is no God. That is why we need the state, which is a human product, but a product of the better part of man, namely reason, constraining the worst parts of man.

  11. David Lynch is a disgusting pervert. Anyone who “likes” his movies is a disgusting pervert. And the movies suck on a purely aesthetic level, too, not that that matters, it’s all so perverted.

    • LOL: Alfred
    • Replies: @padre
    , @theMann
  12. Jack ⧝ says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    Thank you for stating your position frankly. No disagreement from me about “Christian conservatives,” which is basically a euphemism for the Israel lobby. Also, the idea that utopia can be achieved on earth is not a Christian idea. I realize now that the way I worded my comment, saying that harmonious existence can be real, may have given that impression, but that was not my intention.

    We can begin to get a taste of the things to come through having a relationship with God and through metanoia, but that is not the same thing as, for example, the Jewish belief in tikkun olam, healing the world. God can heal the world, or destroy it. Man most certainly cannot. Your statement that “only man can heal himself” is actually closer to the Jewish position – which is fundamentally about self-worship – than to the Christian position. The Christian position would tend to err more towards reclusion than towards frantic attempts to remake the world.

    I would argue that your belief that man can heal himself is also magical. A man can begin to improve himself. But at a certain point, if he is honest with himself, he will see that he can’t do it all on his own, and he needs to ask for help – furthermore, that he has, in fact, had help from the beginning. Those who refuse to see this because of pride always end up falling or hitting a wall.

    • Replies: @Logan
    , @Anounder
    , @Liza
  13. The goal of every jew movie is to subvert white Christian people, to convince them they are
    shit.

    This movie is not an exception.

    Here, the jews are telling us that we are shit. That beneath the lovely facade, white Christian America is actually just perverts and scum.

    “American Beauty” is the same movie, just a variation on the theme.

    Classic projection.

  14. Alex says:

    What is your take on the deleted scenes included in the new Criterion Collection release of the film?

  15. The review play by play was a tad much for me. Might want to post the whole film next time out.

    I liked Blue Velvet. But i could only watch twice in a lifetime. It’s a dangerous film on multiple levels.

  16. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    I think Deborah Harry was originally offered Rosselini’s role. She turned it down and Rosselini probably was the better choice in retrospect.

  17. I first saw this movie in a theatre on its opening night. Just the previous day, I had gotten the shit beat out of me on a city street corner by a couple of (white) thugs.

    No truly serious injuries, but just badly enough to really help me understand the movie better, I’d say.

    Also, I was a visual artist at the time, and I was pleased to see that David Lynch had employed a number of visual tricks and tropes which I had just finished using myself. It was slightly vindicating, to know that in certain ways we were on the same page tactically.

  18. Why am I seeing movie reviews on a supposedly right-leaning heteronormative website?

    • Replies: @ia
  19. Dumbo says:
    @Robert Dolan

    Lynch is Jewish now? That’s news to me… When did he convert?

  20. Dumbo says:

    I have an ambiguous view of Lynch. Great in creating style and atmosphere, not so much in creating a coherent work (I don’t even use the word plot as it wouldn’t make sense in his case).

    So even in late works such as Twin Peaks The Return, there are some interesting moments, but the whole feels very disappointing. He tends to overindulge in some of his worst obsessions sometimes.

    Some films that seem interesting at first, such as Lost Highway, feel quite dull or even dated on a second viewing. I have to rewatch “Blue Velvet”, haven’t seen it in decades, but I have a good memory of it.

    I think that “Mullholand Drive” might be his best work, the one that better balances all elements. Other films have not aged so well.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  21. @Trevor Lynch

    And with that, this is the last post of yours I’ll ever read.

    Adios.

  22. The Sixties ethic of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll didn’t lead us back to the Garden of Eden.

    You intentionally left out illegal wars (Vietnam, 6-Day), 200 boys a week dead in SE Asia, political assassinations, Watergate, the draft, Watts,, military industrial complex. the larger picture was more than a collection of pot smoking hippies in 15-30 age-group whites. A bit too much turmoil to bring us “back to the Garden of Eden.” And no, it wasn’t the rock music!
    Yes the picture was very good. BV not to everyone’s taste naturally but to each his own. And yes the biz needs directors like Lynch (and Tarantino) or risk moving into everlasting blandness.

  23. @Jack ⧝

    and criticized modern psychology for regarding the unconscious as the “real man” rather than what it actually is: the dregs of lower, animal existence that need to be transcended as man moves spiritually upward.

    .

    Why couldn’t the two things go together, though?
    The unconscious is the most real part, because it’s at the helm of behaviour till nowadays, this is about facing it as it is.
    The “upward transcending” can be hoped-for, and the part of it that has occurred can be saluted as a good thing.

    The essential drivers though are still the biological ones.

    • Replies: @Jack ⧝
  24. Blue Velvet seems more quaint than scary.

    Yes kids, there was an era when middle-class people owned businesses downtown before huge superstores and the gangsters were middle-aged druggies who looked like Dennis Hopper or the guy from Quantum Leap.

    Police could simply raid a building full of aging white villains and unceremoniously send them off to jail. Return to the BBQ’s and end of movie.

    Today, the local dealers would be cartel-backed MS-13 or some other ungodly Latin gang. Gone are the family businesses downtown like the hardware store.

  25. Bangla News says: • Website

    Following the critical and commercial failure of Dune, Lynch was ready to return to a more personal story, in the form of Blue Velvet. Blue Velvet as a formal and awesome history. I want to translate your article into bangla news. If you give me the opportunity and permission.

  26. GeeBee says:

    A great film and a great review. Many thanks. Your line ‘the artifices of civilization that keep chaos at bay’ is a memorable one. It encapsulates the whole ethos and functionality of the Right; it is what Conservatism is all about. And it reminds me of a throwaway line from the late-1950s and ’60s British comedy double act ‘Flanders and Swan’. They were ‘men against time’, in those days of ‘alternative’ comedy and burgeoning, sneering satire. Conservative to the core, Michael Flanders remarked: “It has been said that the purpose of satire is to strip away that thin veneer of respectability that surrounds British life. Our purpose, as I see it, is to put it back again”.

  27. Arnold Hauser had said, I think: Film is a picture book of life for the illiterate.

    As a former cinephile, I tend to agree.

  28. padre says:
    @obwandiyag

    Since you know so much about his movies, you must have seen them, which makes you “a disgusting pervert” to, only that you don’t like what you are!

  29. Logan says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    The Left is all about freedom.

    Beg to differ. The left is all about equality, prioritizing egalite over the other two parts of the slogan.

    For the last half-century the Left has managed to portray (and think of) itself as being all about freedom because it has spent most of its energy tearing down the boundaries around sexuality, thus releasing into society the horrors brilliantly described in the review. They have progressively pushed for “sex positivity” for practices farther and farther from what has traditionally been considered “normal.”

    When they finally won “marriage equality” five years ago, I wondered what new sexual frontier they would find to attack. Lo, they found the tranny! So now they can fight to impose acceptance of not only sexual practices that make normal people uncomfortable, but the very idea that normality does or even can/should exist.

    When they win this round, as they are obviously in the process of doing, I’m wondering, with considerable trepidation, what new sexual frontier the next campaign will attack. The Sexual Revolution is not, of course, a destination, even in theory. It’s a process and Social Justice Warriors must have a (sexual) injustice to war against, even if they must invent it.

    Meanwhile, the reason I say the left is not “all about freedom” is because of all the aspects of life, the only one in which freedom is of interest to them is where it can somehow be considered sexual. And even there, the MeToo and similar movements can be viewed as the first stages in a sexual counter-revolution.

    Back at the start of this over-long comment, I noted that the Left is all about equality, not freedom. They are now, however, in the process of throwing equality under the bus with freedom and brotherhood. Their new concepts of intersectionality and privilege create, as many have noted, multiple and constantly shifting hierarchies of victim-hood. Nothing egalitarian about that.

    • Replies: @Russ
    , @Robjil
  30. Logan says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    That is why we need the state, which is a human product, but a product of the better part of man, namely reason, constraining the worst parts of man.

    Oh, boy.

    And what makes you think reason is the better part of man? Reason and intelligence are not, and cannot be, goals or destinations or values.

    They are tools, very powerful ones, that can be (and have been) used in the service of any goal, destination or value. They are power or movement, not direction.

    To my mind, the better part of man is indeed to be found in those goals or values, which simply cannot be derived from facts or science or reason. Lots of people think they can, but that’s because as a society have so deeply internalized “Christian” values we think they are indeed “self-evident.”

    They aren’t, of course, unless you accept the “Christian” foundation on which they rest. Once you’ve done so, then you can erect a perfectly coherent system of values on that foundation. The problem is that waaayy too many people today refuse to recognize that astructure of values can exist (for long) without a foundation, and so they are beavering away at weakening the foundation under the structure of values they accept as “self-evident.”

    I always think of our kritarchs, who have enormous and almost entirely unchallenged power in our society because most people revere the Constitution and laws they claim to be implementing. But the kritarchs are out there every day enthusiastically sawing away at the branch of reverence on which they sit, between themselves and the trunk of the Constitution and laws. If the kritarchs don’t revere or obey the law and Constitution, which they clearly don’t, then why should the rest of us give them any power at all?

    Similarly, on what basis are Frank and Dorothy to be considered “bad,” and Jeffrey and Sandy “good?” Why shouldn’t Frank pursue his own desires at the expense of others? Why shouldn’t any of us? Without a moral foundation, which cannot be derived by reason, such questions cannot be answered. Except by imposition of force, which can itself have no logical rationale for its decree and thus is not really an answer at all.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  31. Logan says:
    @Jack ⧝

    God can heal the world, or destroy it. Man most certainly cannot.

    We cannot heal the world completely, though sometimes we can partially.

    We most certainly can, and possibly will, destroy it.

    • Replies: @Jack ⧝
  32. theMann says:
    @obwandiyag

    Telling it like it is!

    You know, as I get older I realize that the entire purpose of film criticism is to piss on my head and tell me it is rainwater.

    The two cases that really infuriate me are when the critics tell me that David Lynch or Quentin Tarantino are Auteurs, master filmmakers, great directors, or anything other than couple of sick degenerates, making films whose appeal should escape every decent human being. I would genuinely have a hard time imagining a more repugnant two and a half ours of one’s life than being trapped in a theater watching one of their films. Which, come to think of it, would make a great horror film.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  33. JackGarbo says:
    @Anonymous

    The reviewer assumes much. Lynch a “Hindu” TMer? If anything it’s anti-Hindu Atheism. He’s a hide-again Christian, so maybe the TM is a substitute for actual, forbidden masturbation; he imagines his orgasms. His views of “bad” Nature and men is pure, redneck Christian, as is his misogyny (“bad” women). There is no evil in Nature or humans. It’s only a concept to justify other Christian perversions against others. Nevertheless, I found BV rich in texture and color (well, Lynch is a painter), but his storyline fragmented and his outcome unsatisfying. Much preferred Mulholland Drive, but that’s another story.

    • Replies: @Anounder
    , @Anounder
    , @Anounder
  34. @Robert Dolan

    Today July 28, we must remember the accident that took place back on July 28, 1945, when a B-25 crashed into the Empire State Building.

    Jewpedia, inform us there were 14 fatalities, the building was on fire but the fire department(s) put out the fire and the skyscraper later was repaired and as of today 74 years later, still stands up.

    Hmmmmm!
    What I remember now! A much later date, say…… Sep 11, 2001 happens the same thing but with different outcome.
    You think someone is going to remind us about it?

  35. Skeptikal says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Ha ha ha.
    Martyanov wrote:
    ” Lynch should have found place (and role) for Brad Dourif in this film–he would have complemented freak-show greatly. ”

    Lynch tells him that Dourif does have a place in the film.

    Now Martyanov says he knew that but he meant a larger role . . .

    Martyanov may be a brilliant military analyst, but, as Tucker Carlson points out, when you are wrong you should just admit it.

    Martyanov manifested this “have to be right” character trait on another thread, where it was accompanied by verbal snarling.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  36. When I was a preschooler, my mom took me and my brother to see Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion. Before the movie started, one of the previews was a clip from an upcoming horror movie showing a woman screaming, about to be stabbed in her gaping mouth. Of course, the shot ended there, not showing the actual act. I remember it quite vividly to this day and taught me quite early in my life that there are some things once seen that can never be unseen. Needless to say, based on the trailer for this movie, I chose to pass.

  37. Russ says:
    @Logan

    Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s book “Liberty Or Equality,” in its title, features a choice of conjunction of paramount importance. Of note is that Life; Liberty; Pursuit of Happiness is lurching toward the quarter-millennium mark, while Liberty; Equality; Fraternity lost its head to the guillotine within a decade. Comparison and contrast of those trios leads to focus upon that beginning with the vowel.

    • Replies: @Logan
  38. ia says:
    @Sam Coulton

    Why am I seeing movie reviews on a supposedly right-leaning heteronormative website?

    Because the vast majority of right-leaning heteronormative types are unable to produce or manipulate images, gestures and sounds in time and need to be constantly reminded of this defect.

  39. ia says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    That is why we need the state, which is a human product, but a product of the better part of man, namely reason, constraining the worst parts of man.

    Wouldn’t traditional customs and mores work better? We used to say you can’t legislate morality.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  40. @Trevor Lynch

    Frank uses alcohol and also his mysterious gas to break down his inhibitions and release his sadism.

    The Left is all about freedom. It ends up being totalitarian because people are vicious when you let them, and Leftism licenses people to be vicious and hateful to its designated enemies of freedom and humanity.

    What I perceive is that in nature, man somehow understands and exercises “inhibitions” and self-control; Frank was not “let” to be “vicious,” he “uses alcohol and gas” to overcome the natural controls of his “viciousness.”

    People are NOT “vicious when you let them,” they are vicious when you socially engineer their cultural surroundings to “break down their inhibitions.”

    The Left — or those who are ideologically, economically, or amorally driven to purvey alcohol and mysterious gas: that is the locus of the genuine viciousness and the demonic.

    The Saker published a lengthy philosophical treatise by Blake Archer Williams https://thesaker.is/sacred-communities-and-the-emergent-multipolar-landscape/
    I ‘met’ Williams on another forum, and became intrigued with (a much simpler expression of) his thinking when he posted a comment about how he values the Islamic Republic of Iran because the “community” supports him and its members in their quest to enoble their character in daily living; the state/community seeks to provide an environment in which the ‘good’ is supported and affirmed. It’s not so much that inhibitions are imposed, but more that natural inhibitions are not attacked.

    “Alcohol” and “mysterious gases” are NOT promoted by Williams’ (admittedly idealized) Islamic state / community. (Except in the Armenian Christian community in Isfahan ! & through rampant distribution of opium from neighboring Afghanistan.)

    That may be one of the major sources of conflict between those blue velvet fetishists who seek the capitulation of Iran and the green (as in nature) Islamic Republic.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  41. Che Guava says:

    Good review, as usual. Trevor, of a great film. I disagree one point. How is Badalametti’s music specifically Italian? An old man friend introduced me to the key, at least to Badalametti’s vocal music from Blue Velvet to Twin Peaks. He wants me to sing it at a karaoke bar. Can probably do it. I never heard of it before, but, once heard, it is unforgettable.

    Anyway, the titie is End of the World, the singer was under the name Skeeter Davis, and it is absolutely haunting, in the same way as Julee Cruise from Mysteries of Love to her mainly Twin Peaks set, Falling.

    Not sn much the later Firewalk with Me collection, whiich I also like, but less, and Lynch was more directly involved there.

    I am quite sure that Skeeter Davis was the template for the soundtracks of the whole period I state, and she was as American as apple pie, as you people used to say.

    I reconnend that anybody who has not heard it listen, it is not an ear.worm (but a mind-wnrm, to some extent), it is quite great.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  42. @SolontoCroesus

    NOTE

    The gas was Nitrous Oxide aka Hippy Crack. Or at least that was what they called it at college when I was a young man.

  43. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Trevor Lynch

    The Left is all about freedom.

    Is it? If you’re going to say that then you need to define exactly what you mean by the Left. Liberalism is all about freedom. But liberalism isn’t a leftist ideology, it’s rightist.

    The New Left since the late 60s has obsessed about freedom but the New Left is essentially a rightist perversion. I’d say that the Old Left is all about economic justice.

    The Right is all about order.

    Again you have to define what you mean by the Right. In practice the Right is all about greed. I wouldn’t say that conservatism is all about order since in practice conservatism is a variety of liberalism.

    Traditionalism is all about order.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  44. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Trevor Lynch

    I disagree with you that “Man can’t heal himself.” Ultimately, only man can heal himself, if he can be healed at all, because there is no God. That is why we need the state, which is a human product, but a product of the better part of man, namely reason, constraining the worst parts of man.

    You sound like a member of the Old Left. Which, by the way, I mean as a compliment.

  45. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Robert Dolan

    The goal of every jew movie is to subvert white Christian people, to convince them they are
    shit.

    This movie is not an exception.

    Nice theory, but David Lynch isn’t Jewish.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
    , @anarchyst
  46. @dfordoom

    You sound like a member of the Old Left. Which, by the way, I mean as a compliment.

    Actually, I was trying to sound like Aristotle, who described law as reason freed of passion.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  47. Mulegino1 says:
    @Robert Dolan

    I agree.

    The hyper analyzing of Hymiewood films is an unnecessary distraction and, of course, a waste of mental energy upon the puerile objects so precious to the usual suspects.

    Motion pictures can be an effective means of awakening those of European Christian descent only if their content is manifest and direct. Anything else is pointless. Don’t use Hymiewood memes or references for anything- they are only an acknowledgement of the cultural- or rather anti-cultural- hegemony of Jewry.

    We have our own high culture to enlighten us, enrich us and move us intellectually and spiritually.

    • Replies: @Zumbuddi
  48. @dfordoom

    In my opinion Lynch is the cinematic WASP equivalent of Springer.

    ELEPHANT MAN, where he managed to muster up some sympathy for the underprivileged, was an exception.

    But whereas Springer simply views his unfortunates with a callous amusement, Lynch is voyeuristic and turned-on by his white trash with their sexual fetishes. The scene where Kyle is in the closet sums this up.

  49. Alfred says:

    Blue Velvet is one of the very few movies that I really enjoyed watching over the past 40 years.

    For me, it is memorable. The daughter of Ingrid Bergman is eminently f***able despite, or or perhaps because of, her foibles. I watched this movie when it first came out in 1986 and was entranced. It was very confusing to me and I paid little attention to the story line. The acting, props and the music was all that mattered to me. The contrast between Good and Evil was mind-boggling.

    Thank you for explaining the story line to me. IMHO, nothing comparable comes out of Hollywood any longer.

    Some of the comments suggest that this is a left versus right thing. That is the standard classification of almost anything societal in the USA at the moment. I don’t live in the USA and I don’t care a f**k about your clapped out political system and its constant replay of this theme so as to distract the “intellectuals” of your wonderful country.

    Believe it or not, when people are left alone, they don’t resort to cutting off ears and kidnapping children. That is something that they only do when state-actors interfere in the normal intercourse of society.

    I am currently in Kharkov. Only a short distance from where Nazis who are allies of Jewish oligarchs and NATO are bombarding residential areas that belong to their Russian-speaking compatriots. All of this is not reported by your MSM. Over 13,000 have died – mostly civilians. A great many children and women have been raped.

    But where I am, none of that is going on. Despite their real poverty and hardship, the people are extremely polite and no one jumps queues or cheats at the till. There is an almost total absence of the “forces of law and order”. I have yet to see a policeman or security in the subway system, for example. I have yet to hear a police siren.

    The theory that we need lots lots of “protection” from evil men is pure nonsense. Left alone, society will take care of them by itself. Those who are selling you “protection” are the real evil.

  50. Robjil says:
    @Logan

    Bodyism is what this is all about. Two feet by Six feet area is all they interested in.

    Spiritism has no limits, it is endless.

    Chimps advanced through curiosity and intelligence. They did not advance through bodyism.

    Humans advanced the same, through Spiritism. There could be a better word, spirit is one word I thought would be the opposite of bodyism.

    These SJWs are nose-bodys. Nosing around the two feet by six feet area of the body to find “new” terrorities to explore.

    These Bodyists don’t seem to care about human life, ironically. They are OK with the Zion BC game. Nine Eleven is OK for them. The Zion BC wars in the Middle East that US bombs with depleted uranium is OK with them.

    They are only interested in a small 2 feet by 6 feet area – the body.
    Whatever the Zion BCists do overseas is OK with them. Mad Albright is OK with all this.

  51. @Robert Dolan

    Nope. American Beauty is the opposite of Blue Velvet in every spiritual aspect. The fact you can’t see that is a good indicator of some problems with the aesthetics and politics of American conservatives.

    American Beauty is an insipid liberal film in which the arc of history tends toward justice, except for some repressed suburban Republican types not getting with the picture. It’s a work of dumb Hollywood ideology. Blue Velvet represents the Apollonian and Dionysian forces that create, destroy and recreate the world.

    Similar? I mean just contemplate the role of the police officer in Blue Velvet and think what Hollywood ideology would have made of that character. In BV he initiates the young man into the world of chthonic forces and also guides him in how to channel those forces. In AB such a figure would be depicted as a boring repressed pedo Republican who ‘stands for’ white power, patriarchy, blah blah blah.

    • Agree: Robjil, Liza
  52. @Che Guava

    How is Badalametti’s music specifically Italian?

    I was referring specifically to the theme music for Blue Velvet,

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  53. @ia

    Wouldn’t traditional customs and mores work better? We used to say you can’t legislate morality.

    Of course you can legislate morality. The state can reward good behavior and punish bad behavior. I’ve never found a convincing argument for the idea that one can’t legislate morality.

    • Replies: @ia
    , @dfordoom
  54. @Logan

    And what makes you think reason is the better part of man? Reason and intelligence are not, and cannot be, goals or destinations or values.

    They are tools, very powerful ones, that can be (and have been) used in the service of any goal, destination or value. They are power or movement, not direction.

    You are simply asserting the modern technical-instrumental idea of reason as a tool of the passions. I reject that idea root and branch. Classical philosophy doesn’t treat the ends of life as arbitrary preferences.

    • Replies: @Logan
  55. @theMann

    You are my hero. You have it in a nutshell.

    I have a theory. Most film reviewers are perverts. But let us posit that some are not. So why do the some who are not favorably review these crummy pervert Tarantino and Lynch movies.

    I think part of it might be that they have to watch thousands of movies. And most of those movies are all the same. So when they see something different, no matter how much it sucks, they can’t help themselves. They have to give it a thumbs up.

    Most of the fans for this stuff are either sick “artistic” types who think a bunch of artsy production values and lots of physical dismemberment make them better than regular people

    And the others are frat boys who just like anything disgusting. You know, there was a CD made of lines from Pulp Fiction, and frat boys used to sit around and play it and giggle for hours on end. True story. God save us from frat boys.

    • Agree: Honesthughgrant
    • Replies: @dfordoom
  56. anarchyst says:
    @dfordoom

    It doesn’t matter of David Lynch is jewish or not…
    Mel Gibson (a non-jew) had to finance his film “The Passion of the Christ” as no Hollywood jewish Hollywood type or financier would touch it.

  57. Zumbuddi says:
    @Mulegino1

    Well said Mulegino1.

    How about if Catholics & others of like-minded values learn to say simply and without equivocation or apology, “This is garbage and has no redeeming value. Kindly stop polluting the environment with this toxic waste.”

    • Replies: @Jack ⧝
    , @Mulegino1
  58. ia says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    Of course you can legislate morality.

    Not if the government is perceived as evil, or even just not cool.

    As Aldous Huxley once said, people would rather be taken in adultery than provincialism. In advertising this is what’s know as subliminal penetration. The eye is connected to a part of the brain that bypasses cognitive thought. Images and gestures are registered in the subconscious before the mind can alter appearances.

    And because the people who self-identify as liberal are far, far better at manipulating images, gestures and sounds in time than those who identify as conservative they were able to seize control without resorting to the state ever having to do the dirty work. I could argue that this overwhelmingly superior ability to seduce and persuade has made any other ideas concerning statecraft and politics obsolete. Because, nobody has much overt power within a democracy.

    Now I suppose you could argue we don’t want a democracy but then who gets to pick the dictator? And even if you could pick the dictator he would have to assume total thought control through all media. That doesn’t sound too appetizing. As crummy as the system is now, I’d much rather work within its parameters than the alternative.

    • Replies: @Anounder
  59. Zumbuddi says:

    This FB is overloaded w/ pics of the dude’s baby girl.

    https:www.facebook.com/david.malli

    Then he posts a clip of Guns n Roses “November Rain” w/ captions in case anyone missed the full obscene anti-Catholic insult of the thing.

    FB dude hides his voyeurism behind, “This is insane.”
    If that’s what you really think, why promote it next to your baby girl, no less?

    Beating up on Jooz is one thing.

    Pigs like this character need to be named and shamed.

  60. @Dumbo

    Lynch is more of a stylistic experimenter than a director with a vision.

  61. You guys never tire of Jews. But, when I think of it, I don’t quite remember Jewish-themed Hollywood films (except, of course, holocaust movies).

    Sure, there are Woody Allen absurdist comedies, but I don’t recall seeing any “normal” movie about US Jews. Perhaps “Pawnbroker” is an exception. Maybe Jews are not cinematically intriguing, dunno…

    As for Lynch, he is a life-long practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, something I find rather puzzling. I’ve been initiated in TM long time ago, practiced it for 3-4 months & left it because: a) I’ve seen that there are available meditative practices galore & that TM is rather superficial & dull, 2) TM is based on lies. It is basically mantra-yoga where you repeat mantras supposedly specially designed for you. Just, those “special” sacred words are names of Hindu gods & their attributes & are assigned to you depending on your age when initiated. They are cataloged in 2 years periods.

    Lynch is astonishingly naive. He’s not anti-Christian nor anything similar. Just, his is Hollywood Airhead spirituality. Not that there is anything wrong with that….

  62. I thought Mr. Lynch was going to give us a new alt-right view of film. A new perspective. Something we can’t get from a 100 other – left/liberal film reviewers. And he gives us….a positive review of “blue Velvet”? WTH?!

    Blue Velvet is just a well-made piece of trash. Nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you like. Its certainly better than 95% of the badly made pieces of Trash Hollywood churns out. But so what? But its like praising the McRib for being the best food at McDonald’s. The problem with Trevor is he seems be like most film critics. He watches so much boring Hollywood slop, that when he sees a piece of interesting Hollywood slop, he’s so grateful, he overpraises it.

    So, what’s next, Trevor telling what a wonderful Alt-right move MASH is? Or how the “The Help” really is a great movie? Stay tuned.

  63. “I would genuinely have a hard time imagining a more repugnant two and a half ours of one’s life than being trapped in a theater watching one of their films.”

    Ok. I understand, the violence the graphic images, and even the relational perspective can be jarring. But I am concerned what prevented you leaving the theater. Unless you are being strapped into your seat, I have to infer that the film has so eviscerated your mind that were frozen in place. I think one has to ask themselves why they did not leave a film by a creator, director you despised to begin with.

    When I think of Mr. Tarantino, I don’t consider his consider merely the obvious – graphics, language, immorality . . . but the story. D’jango Unchained was absolutely over the top, but underneath the foundation is simply a tale told since story tellers started telling stories. Boy falls for girl and come heck or high water — that love will not be denied. Smoothly woven into place by the story of Drusilla(?).

    Blue Velvet, it’s goodness that redeems, it’s wholesomess that wins the day. And in my view it is the character of Laura Dern that serves as the conduit of redemption.

    (And I don’t think that is merely because of my personal feelings).

    ————————————————————–

  64. That Mr. Lynch is capable of getting actors willing to delve into those spaces of the human psyche — great performances.

    ———————————————–

    Film recommend: Late Night — if one can get past all of the politically correct blandness, though they introduce some interesting concepts, they hang in annoyance.

    Emma Thompson is delightful. That they emasculated her at the end — mistake.

    • Replies: @anon
  65. anon[251] • Disclaimer says:
    @EliteCommInc.

    how does one emasculate a female?

  66. Jack ⧝ says:
    @atlantis_dweller

    For many men, the unconscious drives are indeed the strongest drives because they have not cultivated any conscious intention. Probably most or all of us are born that way, with a disordered soul, which Christians consider the result of original sin. Some men, by the grace of God, have a desire to seek order in their soul, to seek truth over falsehood, and goodness over evil. Others are seemingly content to live as animal-men. God gives us all that choice. And we reap the consequences of our choices.

  67. Jack ⧝ says:
    @Logan

    I think you give us too much credit. The best (worst) we could do is destroy ourselves and other animal and plant life on earth. The earth would remain a planet, and in time it might grow new life. Even if it didn’t, there are countless other planets, stars, galaxies, etc. By “the world” I meant all of existence as we know it.

    • Replies: @Logan
  68. “Next we hear a corny radio jingle, which welcomes us to Lumberton, an idyllic logging town in the mountains of North Carolina, the model for the titular town in Twin Peaks, Lynch’s next project.”

    Lumberton, NC is a lot of things and has it’s own brand of real horror stories, but “an idyllic logging town in the mountains of NC” it ain’t. It’s about 130 feet above sea level and adjacent to all kinds of swamps. Moreover, the demographics of Lumberton have practically zero in common with any mountain town in NC.

  69. Jack ⧝ says:
    @Zumbuddi

    Once upon a time they did. It was called the Legion of Decency and enforced a code of standards upon Hollywood. This is why there were so many good films during the 40s and 50s, films that don’t promote degeneracy. Nowadays film historians look back to “pre-code Hollywood” as some sort of golden era before the prudes came in, but the reality is that those films are junk, which is why none of them have become famous today, even long after Legion of Decency censorship has been scrapped. In contrast, It’s A Wonderful Life is still everyone’s favorite Christmas movie, in spite of Hollywood’s attempts to shove it down the memory hole in recent years.

  70. @Jack ⧝

    Hollywood hated the “Hayes Code” for the same reason that Comedians hate Censorship. Its so much easier to make $$$, when you can draw the boobs in with sex and violence. Just work “Blue” and X number of people will show up because they think profanity and jokes about [insert taboo sex] and vulgarity are hilarious.

    Same with the movies. Just show somebody having sex or getting chopped into pieces and you put butts in the seats. By comparison, making people laugh with “clean” jokes is hard work. And also making interesting films.

  71. ia says:
    @Jack ⧝

    Once upon a time they did. It was called the Legion of Decency and enforced a code of standards upon Hollywood.

    Excuse me but I don’t hear you demanding an Anti-McDonald’s League. Eating crap is just as bad as watching porn. Instead of polluting your spirit you are polluting your body. Or why not an Anti-Kitsch League to stop soul-destroying suburban tract homes, shopping malls and theme parks.

    • Replies: @Jack ⧝
  72. @Skeptikal

    Martyanov manifested this “have to be right” character trait on another thread, where it was accompanied by verbal snarling.

    Ah, damnit, you got me.

  73. Jack ⧝ says:
    @ia

    I hearby demand an Anti-McDonald’s League and an Anti-Suburban Sprawl League. Also an Anti-Pop Music League, and above all an Anti-Usury League.

  74. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Trevor Lynch

    Of course you can legislate morality. The state can reward good behavior and punish bad behavior. I’ve never found a convincing argument for the idea that one can’t legislate morality.

    I agree. Civilisation is all about legislating morality. Since the West is now post-Christian the only institution remaining that is capable of doing the job is the state.

    The problem with the modern West is that the state is legislating immorality.

  75. dfordoom says: • Website
    @obwandiyag

    Most of the fans for this stuff are either sick “artistic” types who think a bunch of artsy production values and lots of physical dismemberment make them better than regular people

    This applies to art and literature as well. The purpose is to make the self-appointed cultural elites feel superior, and to make ordinary people feel inferior to those cultural elites.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  76. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Bardon Kaldian

    You guys never tire of Jews. But, when I think of it, I don’t quite remember Jewish-themed Hollywood films (except, of course, holocaust movies).

    Agreed.

    Hollywood isn’t dominated by Jews. It’s dominated by liberals. Hollywood is certainly subversive but it’s liberal subversion, not Jewish subversion. It’s a political agenda.

    If you keep carrying on about Jewish conspiracies no-one will take you seriously.

    • Troll: Beefcake the Mighty
    • Replies: @Jack ⧝
  77. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Jack ⧝

    Once upon a time they did. It was called the Legion of Decency and enforced a code of standards upon Hollywood. This is why there were so many good films during the 40s and 50s, films that don’t promote degeneracy.

    That’s true up to a point. Unfortunately even in the Production Code era the liberal propaganda in Hollywood movies was relentless.

    The House Un-American Activities Committee made things worse. Instead of going after commies they should have gone after liberals. Liberals are the ones who deserved to be blacklisted.

    You have to have a zero tolerance policy in regard to liberalism. There’s no such thing as a safe dose of liberalism.

  78. A couple of observations:

    Trevor mentions the significance of Lincoln Street, and the fact that he was am unpopular president in the state of North Carolina – not much of an observation as he was historically unpopular in all of the former confederate states. However, I can’t believe that Trevor didn’t make the connection between Lincoln Street and the fact that the villain’s name is Booth. There’s no way that is coincidental and I caught it the first time I saw it.

    Also, Lumberton NC is an actual town, and is in no way a mountain town. It is in fact on the low-lying coastal plain of eastern NC, and is not far from Wilmington (where most of the movie was actually filmed). Lumberton is also not far from where Michael Jordan’s father was murdered (the Jordans being from Wilmington themselves).

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
    , @hhsiii
  79. @dfordoom

    Nope. It never works out like that long term.

    — In ancient China, the Legalists tried to legislate morality, based purely on the authority of the Law (which is to say, ad hoc authority and therefore not authentic morality). They were promptly overthrown and replaced with Confucian morality, which drew its moral authority from native Chinese metaphysics, natural Chinese kinship structures, and veneration for the Past. This authentic morality served the Empire all the way to 1949.

    — The Mongols were moral syncretists, which is to say they had no moral authority at all. Their empire dried up and blew away. Lasted a wee bit longer in places where they adopted either Islam or Confucianism, but they could neither dictate nor legislate morality, they had a timid grip on foreign adopted forms, and they vanished.

    — The Soviets and other Communists tried to legislate Marxist morality, and vanished in 70 years. (The Chinese are not really Communists, you are watching a revival of Imperial China in post-Marxist drag.)

    All proper morality comes from the gods, is divined and interpreted by the priesthood, the shamans and the witch doctors, is upheld by women in the home and by the patriarchy in public, and is only at long last codified by courts and legislation at the caboose of the train.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
    , @Logan
  80. @dfordoom

    But Beethoven and MichaelAngelo and Shakespeare ARE superior, and they SHOULD be taught to look up to them. It’s this perverted disgusting inferior crap that gets stuffed down their throats that burns me. The common folk love their rap music. Rap music is evil ugly stupid poor ignorant nonsense crap. The kicker is, though, that Rap music is made by elites, just like classical music, to be passively consumed by the poor suckers. Classical music, of course, being great nevertheless, and rap unconscionable.

  81. Jack ⧝ says:
    @dfordoom

    “Hollywood isn’t dominated by Jews. It’s dominated by liberals.”

    Back to Breitbart is where you go with that bullshit.

  82. “how does one emasculate a female?”

    Laughing

    See the film . . .

  83. @Hapalong Cassidy

    However, I can’t believe that Trevor didn’t make the connection between Lincoln Street and the fact that the villain’s name is Booth. There’s no way that is coincidental and I caught it the first time I saw it.

    Also, Lumberton NC is an actual town, and is in no way a mountain town. It is in fact on the low-lying coastal plain of eastern NC, and is not far from Wilmington

    These are useful observations. Consider them stolen.

  84. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Nope. It never works out like that long term.

    Your examples are of attempts to legislate new morals that fundamentally went against other bodies of morals legislated much earlier.

    The “you can’t legislate morals” dogma is tossed around by classical liberals who believe that you can’t force people to be good. They have to choose to be good, or it does not have any “moral merit” which to them just means “chosenness.” I think that’s an arbitrary dogma. A man who chooses to quit drugs (maybe 1% of users) is just as clean as a man who is forced to. A statist could save a lot more people, but the classical liberal would cluck and say that any betterment their lives is vitiated by the lack of “chosenness.”

    The trouble with your approach is that it does not square with history. Every classical liberal lives off moral and legal legacies established by force, or another thing that libertarians claim is the moral equivalent of force, namely: fraud. At the beginning of every moral code, I am afraid it is Atillas and Witch Doctors offering rewards and threatening punishments for certain behaviors. So drawing a distinction between gods and witch doctors etc. and courts and legislation gets you nothing. Since all of these are just variants on force and fraud.

  85. Anounder says:
    @JackGarbo

    There is no evil in Nature or humans.

    I assume you don’t live around the noble savages in the Congo.

  86. Anounder says:
    @JackGarbo

    misogyny

    So how low are your country’s birth levels?

  87. Anounder says:
    @ia

    And because the people who self-identify as liberal are far, far better at manipulating images, gestures and sounds in time than those who identify as conservative they were able to seize control without resorting to the state ever having to do the dirty work. I could argue that this overwhelmingly superior ability to seduce and persuade has made any other ideas concerning statecraft and politics obsolete. Because, nobody has much overt power within a democracy.

    Except that the likes of Civil Rights Chimps were backed by either the Deep State or big business (see NGOs). The liberal has long been comfortable in getting backed by those of the elite.

  88. Anounder says:
    @JackGarbo

    Non-degenerate Hindus and Chinese don’t accept homosexuality. Just letting you know.

    • Replies: @anon
  89. @Bardon Kaldian

    There used to be this website called jewdar.com where you could enter the name on any Hollywood movie and it would tell you the percentage of Jewish involvement. I swear there wasn’t a movie that wasn’t overwhelmingly Jewish. The guy who ran it was Jewish and was actually proud of Jewish contribution to Hollywood and US culture and developed this programme to show it off. The few porno movies I entered returned, to my great surprise, as 0% Jewish involvement. Anyway this site is no more.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  90. Anounder says:
    @Jack ⧝

    Liberals in all their forms (Democrats, Commies, Protestants) are indeed man-worshipers. They trust men more than the trust God. At the same time, they recognize depravity from men. So they hope by exterminating the last of the kulaks they’ve made their Heaven.

  91. Logan says:
    @Jack ⧝

    OK, I grant you we can’t destroy the universe. 🙂

    But I think most people would in this context, take “destroy the world” to mean destroy humanity or perhaps even just civilization. And we’re quite capable of either of those, possibly unintentionally.

    • Replies: @Liza
  92. Logan says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    Classical philosophy doesn’t treat the ends of life as arbitrary preferences.

    Okay, so what are the objective/scientific ends of life?

    You are no doubt aware that philosophy arguably originated with a stone mason wandering around Athens asking people, “What is the Good?” IOW, what should we do or strive for, and by implication why.

    To my mind, we’re still asking that original question. You seem to think it has been answered. Which is why I’m curious what you think that answer is.

  93. Logan says:
    @Russ

    Equality before the law and equality of opportunity are both fine and dandy.

    But Liberty, if allowed to play out, creates great inequality of status, wealth and power. This is largely the price we pay for the production of wealth and for civilization.

    Attempts to impose Equality of outcome will inevitably result in tyranny and total loss of Liberty.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    , @Anounder
  94. Logan says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Morality refers essentially to right/wrong.

    For some reason back in the 60s the term became focused on sexual morality, which is what the expression “You can’t legislate morality” refers to. It denies that (sexual) morality can be normative.

    Then and (especially) now, those who said “You can’t legislate morality” did exactly that with great enthusiasm for all other aspects of life.

    The expression is of course false on its fact. What they’re trying to say is that legislating morality won’t be entirely or even perhaps partially effective. Which is of course true, but kind of trivial.

    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
  95. @Commentator Mike

    MIKE

    What do you need to make a pornographic film? Three thousand US dollars (Girls are $500 a scene, males $200) and willing bodies and a mattress.

    Raising $100 million dollars is a different matter.

  96. Che Guava says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    I made a simple comment to the effect that nothing in Badalametti’s themes sounds particular Italian.

    Did it sound like an Italian opera overture? No.

    Did it sound like Monteverdi? No.

    Did it sound lile any of the varieties of Italian Futurist music? No.

    Did it sound like Ennio Morricone? No.

    Did it sound like a Dario Argento snundtrack? No.

    Etc.

    My comment was just based on an old man, who is a friend, having introduced the 1953 Skeeter Davis song to me.

    I suspect that few Americans now have ever heard the song, and fewer among those who are fans of the Badalimetti-Cruise-Lynch works. Anyone who is. should. This is not tn denigrate those later works.

    Have you, Trevor? If not, you should.

    Even the titles, it is as if D. Lynch passed Skeeter’s song to Badalametti, and said ‘take this a the basis.’

    So, my comment was on-topic and informative.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  97. Che Guava says:

    Although agreeing with Trevor’s points re. the film, there is also a simpler metaphor of a man being stupid, ignoring potential harm by trying to protect, and being fooled.

  98. anonymous[251] • Disclaimer says:
    @Che Guava

    Not sure what you are trying to say.

    daresay every boomer on this forum — and there are many — knows every word and note of Skeeter Davis’s heartbreak song, End of the World.
    No, it does not sound Italian. It sounds like post-WWII Top 40s pop.

    Can’t find verification that Skeeter ever made the Top 40, but End of the World sounds like at least a dozen others —

    http://tsort.info/music/ds1960.htm
    Brenda Lee tunes come to mind.


    It’s not startlingly original or innovative music. It was made to coarse-tune boy-girl emotions; to give vent to teenage heartbreak; for dancing and “making out” in the knotty-pine finished basement with the lights down low, parents upstairs, CocaCola the highest-potency mood-enhancer on the premises (for the teens).

    The Blue Velvet theme does have elements of Italian opera.
    Or like standing across the street from a church as nuns chant Divine Office (except that’s a cappella)
    Its opening made me think of theme from Godfather
    For the life of me I can’t see any relationship to Skeeter Davis

    • Replies: @anonymous
  99. anonymous[251] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    edit: –> “Or like standing across the street from a church as nuns chant Divine Office (except that’s a cappella)” —

    Julee Cruise Mysteries of Love produced that impression

    Its opening notes reminded of first notes of Sammy Hagar’s Where Eagles Fly (JUST the first, ethereal notes, obviously)

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  100. I think the matter of of the divine is played out in most of Mr. Lynch’s films. And in each film where redemption is required or at least in play no human character redeems themselves. In “Blue Velvet” the wholesome life is missing the God and usual church references we associate with wholesomeness, but clearly all of the manifestations of good and evil on the supernatural plane are active, even without pressing the matter.

    There is always that manifestation beyond human at work.

    ——————————————–

    “The state can reward good behavior and punish bad behavior. ”

    Save the state really doesn’t reward “good behavior”, whatever that is. And the state is not the primary actor in morality. The primary factor to morality remains the influence of christian ethos. or that dreaded “judaeo-christian” ethos. And the most powerful owner of that model of training is family and community. The reward is essentially to supposed advancement by intimates and community.

  101. @Jack ⧝

    He’d get laughed at even there. Not even cuckservatives pretend that Jews don’t control Hollywood.

  102. @Logan

    Perhaps, but no more trivial than the contra point, which really says no more than: the vast majority of people don’t really care about moral or right living and can simply be forced to live a certain way by the sword because they’re indifferent to that vs active opposition. That most humans are little more than automatons and can be blindly led around tells you absolutely nothing about the nature of the organizing system under which they follow.

  103. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Logan

    Attempts to impose Equality of outcome will inevitably result in tyranny and total loss of Liberty.

    Everybody needs a God. Everybody needs something to worship. Something that they just can accept as inherently holy without having to think about it.

    Some people choose Liberty as their God. But Liberty is just another false idol to worship. It isn’t magical and it isn’t sacred.

  104. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Jack ⧝

    “Hollywood isn’t dominated by Jews. It’s dominated by liberals.”

    Back to Breitbart is where you go with that bullshit.

    You’re missing the point. The number of Jews in Hollywood is not the core of the problem. The core of the problem is that virtually everybody in Hollywood, Jew or Gentile, white or black, male or female, heterosexual or homosexual, is a liberal. It’s the fact that they’re liberals that is significant.

    Liberal Jews are a menace. But liberal Gentiles are every bit as dangerous and malevolent.

    Liberalism is the disease that is destroying us. Whites need to recognise and accept their own complicity in spreading this foul disease.

  105. @dfordoom

    Nope, you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

  106. Anonymous[307] • Disclaimer says:
    @dfordoom

    The core of the problem is that virtually everybody in Hollywood, Jew or Gentile, white or black, male or female, heterosexual or homosexual, is a liberal. It’s the fact that they’re liberals that is significant.

    Those ‘liberal Jews’ seem to be pretty gung-ho right-wing about Israel and Zionism. How many movies about Nakba have been made? And what would happen to be a liberal film-maker if he said he’s going to make a movie about a Palestinian family destroyed by the IDF?

  107. jamie b. says:

    Many viewers note that the robin at the end is clearly fake, some sort of puppet. It might simply have been the best effect that Lynch could create with the available budget. But it could very well have been intentional.

    Lynch shows little interest in realistic special effects, and they are often bad in his movies. Dune was criticized for this, and even in TPtR, when he could use modern CGI, the effects are jarring and (intentionally?) amateurish. There seems to be a humorous aspect to it, just like Guy Maddinn’s willfully bad special effects.

  108. But, when I think of it, I don’t quite remember Jewish-themed Hollywood films (except, of course, holocaust movies). Sure, there are Woody Allen absurdist comedies, but I don’t recall seeing any “normal” movie about US Jews.

    What is normal to Jews is abnormal to goyim and vice versa. Jews have us globo-homo as the New Normal, remember?

    You may see Woody Allen movies as ‘absurdist’, but they may seem normal to many Jews. Take Seinfeld where being neurotic and nutty is normal for those urban Jews. Jews can never be normal because they co-existed outside the mainstream goy culture. Racially, culturally, and spiritually, they were a people apart.

    But some Jews have tried to present more-or-less ‘normal’ visions of All-American Jews. Jews of Americana. Woody Allen himself did this with RADIO DAYS, a nostalgia piece. Neil Simon always worked in this vein, giving us stuff like BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS. Barry Levinson made one of the best ‘normal’ Jewish-American movies, DINER. He also made AVALON where some of the characters are played by non-Jews, esp the very Celtic-looking Aidan Quinn. Coen Brothers’ SERIOUS MAN is an eccentric but also endearing look back on Jewish suburbia of the 60s. BABY IT’S YOU is about a Jewish girl who falls for some greaseball guy. JAZZ SINGER is about Jewish conflict between tradition and assimilation(to Negro music).

  109. Liza says:
    @Jack ⧝

    But at a certain point, if he is honest with himself, he will see that he can’t do it all on his own, and he needs to ask for help – furthermore, that he has, in fact, had help from the beginning.

    Lots of Christians, like an evangelical acquaintance of mine, seem so damn simple minded and low-IQ. Veritable simpletons. Yet that doesn’t make them wrong about everything. This woman’s life was unravelling in a big way. Name the serious problem and she had it. All at once and picking up speed.

    She could not do anything to improve her situation. She told me how she got on her knees and said, “Lord, these problems are not mine any more. Here – take them. I can’t do anything, but you can.” And things began to click into place. Her life is nice now. The psychology of surrender, they call it. But you have to be humble enough to believe in something you can surrender to.

    I’m not even religious but I was much affected by this.

    • Replies: @Jack ⧝
  110. Thirdeye says:

    I found the political shoehorning of Blue Velvet, a brilliant and profound film, sophomoric. Ir’s a film that explores the paradoxes of eros. It shows eros (and anger) connected to separation trauma in the “mommy mommy” thing. In the lipstick kissing scene, it begins when Jeffrey yells out and strikes Frank in offense at Frank’s degrading treatment of Dorothy. That turns Frank on, and he says to Jeffrey, “I’m gonna send you love letters – bullets!” before smearing him with lipstick and beating him. During the police raid scene, there is a shot of a police officer getting mowed down by machine gun fire, which traces in towards him in little sprays of earthen dust, as he runs, while the pop tune “love letters” plays in the score. The whole raid sequence was shot beautifully from an aesthetic standpoint. It presents blowing someone away as the ultimate erotic connection.

    The “forces of order” also show their dark side, embodied by the “canary man” detective in the yellow jacket – the bright cheery color covering something dark and sinister.

    • Replies: @Thirdeye
  111. Anounder says:
    @Logan

    There is no meaningful gap between those “equality of opportunity” “equality before the law” and “equality of outcome.” All are liberal demands that depend on violence and impede one’s capability to discriminate.

    There is indeed a line between telling you can’t refuse to permit fags and/or Negroes to enter stores/communities and demanding bakeries to bake gay cakes.

  112. Che Guava says:
    @anonymous

    Yot are one among a fool, a distractor, or a moron.

    As I was saying in an earlier post, it was a major influence on the Badalametti-Cruise-Lynch works, wiich is reflected in the style, vocal style, some titles, and lyrics.

    I never heard of any of that part of American pop music, except big bands and lounge singers like Simatra, until much later, all of it was long before I was bnrn (except some of Sinatra’s very late recordings.

    So my friend’s playing the song to me and asking me tn sing it, was a surpriing )and eduational.

    Thank you for posting links to other examples, I must listen, but doubt it will change my opinionos os amalysis.

    Some, likely nice to hear.

    However, I suspect that listening, for me, will prove that End of the World, as recorded by Skeeter Davis, is the true template,

    I accidentally ihit button to play the tiheme of lblue Velvet can still not hear how it is Itaulian.

  113. Che Guava says:

    I t is to some extent Jewish, refllecting weimar Germany’sC
    rap

  114. anon[277] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anounder

    Thanks for the tip, Dr. Tautology.

    • Replies: @Anounder
  115. Thirdeye says:
    @Thirdeye

    One important detail about the scene where Frank gets shot by Jeffrey after huffing. Frank is passive right at the end. He gets this angelic smile and he’s in no hurry to kill Jeffrey. It seems he is happily offering himself up to be killed. The only bigger possible charge for Frank other than killing is being killed. But he only gets to do it once.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  116. jinks says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    This essay seems to have touched on a very deep thread. My reaction to it is in the direction of morality. What is it, what is it’s nature, and most importantly is it of a ‘metaphysical’ nature or a ‘physical’ (purely material) nature?

    Since this comment was in reply to a Christian perspective let’s stick with the biblical imagery. Something that never occurred to me was pointed out to me the other day and it was that Adam and Eve’s sin was lying. Of course they disobeyed by eating of the forbidden fruit, but who ever walked in the garden would have known exactly what went down. When confronted, both Adam and Eve began to make excuses, instead of admitting (mostly to themselves) what they had done.

    What might be argued is that the knowledge of good and evil was the ability to contradict the truth, to draw to mind something other than what IS, in the sense that only one thing happened once an event has taken place. Neither Adam or Eve wanted to say that they simply wanted to eat the fruit, thus it was the serpents fault or Eve’s fault.

    Given this example and Blue Velvet how can we begin to describe morality? Was it immoral to be temped? Was is immoral to be intrigued by a sleazy singer? No neither is immoral.

    Is it immoral to eat of the fruit? Is it immoral to be ensnared by wantonness? This is where arguments begin straying into murky waters. Because an act has been committed, but it is an act principally that harms one’s self mostly. Now reason would have us assume that since this is mostly an act of self harm that it isn’t immoral. However instinctively we know that qualitatively something has changed. This is why we begin to have shame and why we make excuses or begin lying.

    What can a lie lead to? Given the plot laid out for Blue Velvet a whole host of evils and devils. What can the truth of our motives lead to? Clearing away of the horror we will embrace in order to keep the truth of our natures from ourselves.

    Morality has to be closely bound with the truth, truth in a sense of only one thing that is, that once passed through everything has only happened one way. Morality than is something above reason, it is an innate sense of ‘knowing’. This ‘knowing’ can only be from a higher order than man. Thus civilization is structured on templates from this higher order, ignoring or lying to oneself, about the non-existence or absence of a higher order defies morality as a principle, and leads to the death of humanity in the person. Making said person ‘open’ to lower orders of templates and influences that cannot exist in a state of non-contradiction.

    The ‘state’ is impersonal. Reason is also impersonal. Reasonably I don’t need 75% of the shoes that I own, I know this, but unfortunately that hasn’t kept me from purchasing more. Why? Because when it comes to shoes I am weak. Reason can’t make up for weakness, neither can the state, because both are impersonal. They can’t feel or understand, which for civic purposes is good. That can only go so far because we are people not machines, we are capable of understanding which if taken un-sentimentally will produce true humans who can judge fairly, rightly, and justly.

    Thank you for the essay.

  117. Che Guava says:

    By the way, IMHO, Sinatra’s ‘That’s Life’ ads for Sony were an integral part of bringing Sony under Knsher Kontrol.

    The bigger parts were Sony invuestment in Hollywood crap. So, because Sony mamagement had no idea, they were pushed out by jews. I don’t know much of Snny of now, but did good work for them in the past.

    The only part that is still Japanese conttroled is SCE, the Playstaton and games part. That is very temporary, and contingent upon the whims of the new (not so new now) lewish top managemennt.

    Morita would be horrified.

    It is not even really a major brand, now (not like it was). Sure a very hhgh price to pay for a few Spiderman films.

  118. @Trevor Lynch

    “reason freed of passion”

    Good luck with that.

  119. @dfordoom

    “You sound like a member of the Old Left. Which, by the way, I mean as a compliment.”

    If by Old Left you mean the New Left of the late 1960s — the young Boomers who took to the streets to protest the criminal war in Vietnam whilst the more radical elements in the Weather Underground and associated groups comprised of upper middle class whites were obsessively focused on blacks — no compliment should be given. We see the legacy of the New Left in Antifa which is anti-white and anti-capitalism but doesn’t seem to have a problem with corporate wars. Another legacy is the cultural Marxism infesting culture, education, and politics which is funded by Woke Capital. In my view, the Left should concern itself with maintaining a mixed economy and an end to elite-initiated wars. It should jettison identity politics. But it won’t.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  120. @dfordoom

    “… the New Left is essentially a rightist perversion.”

    Another term for leftist authoritarianism is totalitarianism. The New Left descendants, the majority of them unwittingly, are helping to construct a more authoritarian society under the rubric of anti-racism and gender fluidity. And Drag Queen Story Time at your local public library.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  121. Anounder says:
    @anon

    Go back to your BLACKED.

  122. dfordoom says: • Website
    @SunBakedSuburb

    If by Old Left you mean the New Left of the late 1960s — the young Boomers who took to the streets to protest the criminal war in Vietnam whilst the more radical elements in the Weather Underground and associated groups comprised of upper middle class whites were obsessively focused on blacks — no compliment should be given.

    No, by Old Left I mean Old Left. If I’d been referring to the New Left I’d have said New Left. The Left you’re talking about is the New Left and it was creayted soecifcally in order to destro the OLd Left.

    Old Left means the Left as it existed prior to the 60s. The Left that was concerned about economic justice and was socially conservative.

  123. dfordoom says: • Website
    @SunBakedSuburb

    The New Left descendants, the majority of them unwittingly, are helping to construct a more authoritarian society under the rubric of anti-racism and gender fluidity.

    Yes, they are. They’ve been infected by liberalism and liberalism will always tend toward authoritarianism. Liberals are going to give you their idea of freedom and if you don’t like it they’ll force you to like it.

  124. Jack ⧝ says:
    @Liza

    Thank you for sharing this story. I know from personal experience that these things happen. It’s the sort of thing that sounds silly or foolish or just crazy to those who have not experienced it or witnessed it.

    A person can be high IQ and wicked. A person can be low IQ and morally good. I’ve known examples of both.

    You are right that it’s about both humility and faith. The obstacle to humility is pride. The obstacles to faith are many, but I think one that comes up a lot for contemporary people is not knowing how to conceive of God in a way that’s understandable and believable. We can’t fully understand God, that’s far beyond our capacities. But Christian tradition gives us some pointers. God is traditionally identified as Good and the source of goodness; as Truth; and as Love. These things we understand. These things we value by instinct, we don’t need to be convinced of their worth. They are a good place to start.

    • Replies: @Logan
  125. @Thirdeye

    This is a complete fantasy and travesty on your part. There’s no basis for it in the film. Frank is a homicidal maniac on a killing spree. He just didn’t anticipate his victim having a gun.

    • Replies: @Thirdeye
  126. @Trevor Lynch

    …there is no God.

    Some say God does not exist;
    Yet without Him our way is fading mist.
    He who divides night from day
    Will open the Scroll and have final say.

  127. DennisW says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    For a film you claim is one of your favorites, you seem not to have paid much attention.

    Brad Dourif was in it. He’s Raymond.

  128. Mulegino1 says:
    @Zumbuddi

    Absolutely! Pure unadulterated garbage!

  129. Liza says:
    @Logan

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses told me that “world” when speaking of its end/destruction means “the present system of things”. A whole new world.

    • Replies: @Logan
  130. Logan says:
    @Liza

    They told me that, too.

  131. Logan says:
    @Jack ⧝

    The only thing that IQ does is make a person more effective, or, perhaps more precisely, have the potential to be more effective. A smart person can be more effective at being evil or good.

  132. hhsiii says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    I read through the comments to see if this was mentioned. Yes, Lumberton is not in the mountains but an “Inner Banks” eastern plains. And yes, mostly shot in Wilmington, although a bit in Lumberton. It has a rather large native american population, about 12%, and one of James Jordan’s murderers was part Native American (Lumbee).

    I saw this movie when it came out, when I was going to UNC. I think the reaction to a lot of it was snarky, the fake kitschy-ness, some very silted dialogue (Detective William’s saying “that’s an ear alright” or some such got a laugh), the weird robin at the end. It all just seemed part of Lynch’s way of making movies as though they come to him in dreams. Realism isn’t his thing.

    But I liked it. I didn’t like Wild at Heart and some of the later ones as much.

  133. hhsiii: ” It all just seemed part of Lynch’s way of making movies as though they come to him in dreams. Realism isn’t his thing. ”

    Yes, I agree. Dennis Hopper, in the special features section of the DVD I have, describes the style as “American surrealism”. There are lots of examples of this, among them the mechanical robin you mention. There’s also the uncanny association of Booth and Lincoln, seemingly to no purpose whatsoever, and as Trevor Lynch mentioned in his review, the fact that Jeffrey doesn’t stop to revise his plan of leaving a window ajar to re-enter even after he’s told that the apartment is on the seventh floor, just as might happen in a dream. This kind of filmmaking doesn’t lend itself to making a political statement, so trying to analyze the politics of Blue Velvet strikes me as a frivolous exercise. I don’t think David Lynch meant it to convey any particular praise for civilization, nor to condemn nature as demonic and evil, but simply to depict the pitiable state of man, thrown into a world consumed by desires he can’t control or even choose.

    Of more interest to “white nationalism” (whatever that’s supposed to be), is the then eighteen years old Laura Dern, who in the film appears very much an icon of white female purity, and her sad and disgusting fate in real life, in which she laid down and squeezed out a couple of mud puppies, just as so many of them do. The same thing happened to Linda Blair, minus the mud puppies, who played the virginal white pre-teen in The Exorcist. Pre-possession she was a perfect little angel, afterwards a green-slime spitting horror, which foreshadowed her real-life development into a notorious race-mixing skank. The bad example such actresses set has no doubt inspired many white girls to destroy themselves in similar ways. It seems to me a bona fide white nationalism would be interested in such things, and how to prevent them. It may be that film is an inherently corrupting technology.

  134. Thirdeye says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    Huffing was remarkably unfocused behavior for someone intent on killing.

    “Ugly” in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: “When you gotta shoot, shoot, don’t talk!”

    When ya gotta shoot, shoot, don’t huff!

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  135. Kevinator says:

    Lumberyard was out by the coast, where the Lumbee Indians rolled back when I was growing up.
    Kevinator

  136. @Thirdeye

    Huffing was remarkably unfocused behavior for someone intent on killing.

    He didn’t know the kid had a gun. He huffed for extra thrill in the kill. It was meant to be cherry on top, but the kid had a gun and shot him first. Do not over-analyze.

  137. @Trevor Lynch

    Well…that took a turn for the worse.

  138. Simon says:
    @Jack ⧝

    It’s A Wonderful Life is still everyone’s favorite Christmas movie, in spite of Hollywood’s attempts to shove it down the memory hole in recent years.

    That’s utter nonsense. In fact, that turkey is constantly shoved in our faces, year after year, in virtually every article ever written about Christmas films. And frankly, I wish it weren’t; despite its reputation, I think it’s surprisingly sour, mean-spirited, and overrated.

  139. Delmas says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I saw what I considered an excellent movie by the Coen brothers in 2010 about Jews in America, although the film did get some flak from Jewish associations. A Serious Man. The acting was superb and the story depicted a middle-class sap trying to be honest and do everything right but caught inevitably in a social dilemna from which there is no escape.

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