Blue Velvet, Directed by David Lynch
De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, September 19, 1986 (US)
Screenplay: David Lynch
Starring: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, and Laura Dern
The door is unlocked. He says he will be blindfolded. Whether that is true or not is a fact that is just moments away from being revealed.
Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan): See that clock on the wall?
Sandy Williams (Laura Dern): Yes.
Jeffrey: Five minutes from now you won’t believe what I have told you.
Ants crawl over a severed human ear that has been tossed aside within a patch of weeds. It is an image that sticks with me, as if I had found the ear myself, as if I had picked it up with my own bare hands and stuffed it in my own plastic bag.
Dr. Gynde (Philip Markert): We’ll check the morgue records but I don’t recall anything coming in minus an ear. The person may very well be alive somewhere.
Jeffrey: What can you tell about the person from the ear?
Dr. Gynde: Well, once the tests are done, quite a lot. Sex, blood type, whether or not the ear came off a dead person. Also, it looks like the ear was cut off with scissors.
Needless to say, Blue Velvet leaves a lasting impression. It is easy to remember the famous opening, or the severed ear. Asking why there are people like Frank in this world. But I also remember an overall feeling of uneasiness, like maybe I was seeing something I should not have been seeing. Perhaps I wasn’t old enough, mature enough, whatever. Not that it mattered. Nothing was going to stop me. I was saddled with a fresh and disturbing self-discovery that the seediness did not turn me away; rather, it made me want to continue on all the more.
Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini): Hello, baby.
Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper): It’s Daddy you shithead! Where’s my bourbon? Can’t you fucking remember anything?
What kind of pervert was I? This Peeping Tom thing, this spying game … I was enjoying the close-ups. What kind of twisted fuck was I anyway?
Frank: Spread your legs. Wide … now show it to me …
Don’t you fucking look at me! (Suck it in. Hold tight. Nail the thrill.) Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy.
Dorothy: Mommy loves you.
Frank: Baby wants to fuck.
Frank: Don’t you fucking look at me!
Red, white, and blue, green grass, and yellow sun. We are in a happy place: a suburban yard, a perfect vantage point to see black-and-white-spotted Dalmatians sitting proudly next to happy firemen waving friendly hellos from the perch of their hot red fire trucks that shimmer like diamonds. The lovely little homes on this block are not in need of a fireman’s heroic rescue and so the truck slowly cruises on by at its leisure. On this block, the walls of each home remain unburned, sturdy, still more than capable of protecting any number of secrets within.
Dorothy: Are you a bad boy?
Jeffrey: What do you mean?
Dorothy: Do you want to do bad things? Anything? Anything?
Jeffrey: What do you want?
Dorothy: I want you to hurt me.
Neighbors and friends in close proximity remain closed off from one another, separated by the fortress of yards and asphalt and blue velvet drapes.
Sandy: I can’t figure out if you’re a detective or a pervert.
Danger and mystery muddle the nitrite-filled brain as lines dissolve in the fade. Just who is the hunted and who, the hunter?
Dorothy: Do you like the way I feel? Feel me. Hit me!
Coming to, sharp and bright: black ink on yellow tape. POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS.
Dorothy: No police! No police!
It is too late. The line between intoxication and annihilation has already been crossed.
Jeffrey: It’s a strange world.
It turns out to be true. He is blindfolded just as he said he would be. But then, unexpectedly, there is something else, something very wrong.
Are you really still here?
A hand is all that we can see now. It closes the curtain once and for all. Even still, I do not move, listening closely to the muffled cries.