Monday, 18 January 2010

Blue Velvet David Lynch '1986'

Now, I’ve seen this film on a few random occasions prior to this occasion, the first my film studies teacher decided to show to me, and just me, to describe mise-en-scene….never again will I forget the reaction gave her after watching the most horrific scene in the film, her reaction to mine…..laughing…

Nevertheless, this time round it still demands the same, uncomfortable reaction which makes me cringe to the core, with both unease, and pure disgust, at some of the elements in the film, but yet somehow I respect the way it evokes these feelings as this film captures many different genre’s of film breaking the linear generics found within most films, that almost surprise you when it skips between them, from teen love to thriller, then onward to detective, to horror, it almost definitely catches you off guard when it shifts between these elements, the transition appearing somewhat surreal, or abstract….

The film mainly focuses on again, the underlying darker side of the American suburbia, set in the 80’s, (however there are some elements within the film, that suggest otherwise, directing from the 50’s)with the opening scene looking as thought taken straight out of a commercial, the contrast of the area set to high, with prim and proper white picket lawns, kids playing in the street, an elderly man watering his lawn, scored by a relaxing background, then suddenly spiraling downwards as the man seems to have some sort of heart attack, collapsing, the hose twisted as some sort of metaphor, to which the camera pans across into the blades of grass, the sound of the hose drowned out by the cricketing that becomes overwhelming as two stag Beatles fight to the death, immersed in darkness…..again, perhaps a metaphorical prelude of events to come…

Through the main character, (Geoffrey) we are invited to see the downward spiral of suburbia, and how he falls victim to curiosity, meeting characters along the way, some more generic then others, for instance, the love interest found in many films, in the form of a pretty, naïve teenager, contrasted against the victimized performer, sexually assaulted day to day, by her mentally deranged boss/lover Frank, a dangerous and clearly psychotic womanizing character (who obviously suffered from some sort of sexual incest, child abuse at a young age, borderline Freudian elements) and the catalyst of the events that take place within the film….In hindsight, the film itself portrays the most darkest side of human nature, and delves into the human psyche significantly, through the events that occur, for instance, the whole scene when Geoffrey hides in the cupboard, till frank comes in, there is this immense sense of unease, and fear that is captured to a tee, another sequence of events that evokes similar emotions in the audience, the moment when frank kisses Geoffrey, smearing his lipstick over his face, feels almost uncomfortably, and really challenges how much an audience can take in….

Alongside the events that take place, that already convey a darkness, there are some really interesting ways in which the director chooses to shoot from angles, that suggest different tones of emotions, for instance, when Geoffrey walks upstairs to Dorothy’s apartment, completely immersed in darkness he flows in out of the natural light, which captures suspense…..

Above all, the surreal elements within the film are what really give the edge to the film, with scenes from the ‘Pussy Heaven’, when the owner stars singing, or rather miming to a song from the 50’s. other points in the film such as the hooker dancing on the car as Frank beats Geoffrey, which is further highlighted to music playing in the background, the ending, with it’s almost dream like state, the contrasted turned to the max it almost certainly carries metaphorical value that draws the film to a close, with the robin, crushing the dead beetle in it’s mouth (love and darkness)….

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