100 Movies to See Before You Die- “Blue Velvet” – I think I’ll skip it, thanks

I am exercising some discernment here. I started watching “Blue Velvet” this afternoon, and it started out fine. However, about 40 minutes into the movie things went down hill very fast. There are some things that I just don’t want/need to see on a screen and “Blue Velvet” definitely crossed that line. I shut it off and hope never to revisit the film again. So far this is the first film in the 100 Movies series that I have skipped. I hope that I don’t have to do this with any further movies, but if a movie is morally reprehensible and does not appear to offer any redeeming value (I don’t accept that it being “art” is enough to redeem it) then I will skip it.

So with that, I must say that I will happily be able to die without finishing this movie. I’m not missing much.

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3 thoughts on “100 Movies to See Before You Die- “Blue Velvet” – I think I’ll skip it, thanks

  1. I was a featured extra in Blue Velvet and I certainly understand your sentiment. I’ve never allowed my mother to see the entire film, only the scene I’m in, and then I had to warn her about the bad language. My mother is very much a Southern lady and would be quite disturbed by Blue Velvet. She has trusted my judgment on this matter.

    The thing is, though, while BV is over the top in many ways, and even unintentionally humorous in spots because it’s so clear that Lynch was aiming to be as outré and shocking as he could muster, it does have merits.

    The major leads are well cast and acted. Dennis Hopper created an iconic villain in Frank Booth and even after a quarter of a century people know who you mean when you mention the name, Frank Booth.

    Isabella Rossellini is preternaturally beautiful in BV while not, by any means, an example of a perfect female specimen. Her singing is mediocre and there are times when her acting is obvious, but her presence is phenomenal. And I can add from my firsthand exposure to her on set that she is very kind and pleasant to be around.

    Dean Stockwell, as Ben, the drug dealer/pimp/lip-syncing lamp singer supreme, is a tour de force when he is on screen. His one scene is one of the most memorable in the film, if not the most memorable, and I’m sorry you missed it. It’s also the scene in which I sit by a door looking stoned out of my mind counting my fingers. People tell me all the time, before they know that was the scene I was in, that it is their favorite scene in the film.

    The film is extreme. It’s very grotesque. It’s perverse. It’s violent. I would never say otherwise. It’s so extreme, however, that it’s very nearly a parody of itself. If you’ve ever seen any other of Lynch’s films, such as Eraserhead and Inland Empire, then you can see that Lynch has definite themes he likes to use and a specific way of pacing much of the time. He enjoys testing his audience’s tolerance, I think, and really doesn’t seem to give a whit about what anyone thinks. He makes his art and to heck with everyone else.

    In conclusion, I don’t blame you for not finishing the film. The sex scenes are all violent and degrading. There is gratuitous bad language and violence. The plot is rather thin in spots, admittedly, too. It’s far from being a perfect film.

    And child, you have no idea the kind of wrath I shall incur from devotees by saying so. Somehow I ended up in one of the most discussed and studied films of the latter 20th Century and I still can’t believe it. So if anyone gives you heck about not finishing the film, show them this comment. Someone who was actually in the film completely understands.

  2. I think the only reason you don’t want to finish this movie is because of your religious views.

    It’s simply a movie with a point, however bad it may be.

    Just like literature, it isn’t real.

    So to say that you can’t accept the movie and all of its things is just like saying you can’t accept words because they may lead to say something you don’t like.

    Don’t enjoy the movie, but at least cite your filter (i.e. you religious views) as the reason.

    1. I think my filter should be pretty obvious if someone does a cursory glance at the stuff on my blog. Also, just because something isn’t real doesn’t mean the images won’t get stuck in your head for a long time. There are some images I just don’t want rolling around in my brain. When it comes down to it, Blue Velvet is a lot of smut. I don’t really care about the artistic merits of the directing style, lighting style, editing style, story, etc., if it is told in such a vulgar way. Is that my opinion? Yep, and not everyone has to agree with it. Is it also my prerogative to not watch a film because I see very little redeeming value to it? Yep. I’m sure there are lots of sites on the net that will praise Blue Velvet until the sun comes up. I think it’s smut and does not deserve to be on a list with true classics like On the Waterfront. Oops, there I go again with my opinion…

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