Friday, August 8, 2008

Blue Velvet and Lost Highway

Blue Velvet (1986) and Lost Highway (1997) are going to be playing together as a double bill at the Mayfair on August 25th and 26th. These esoteric films come from one of the most talented post surrealist filmmaker David Lynch. David Lynch has a bizarre naturalist gift to create ugliness and darkness in the most ordinary places. Blue Velvet was filmed after the commercial failure Dune (1984) and leads him to his most well known television series Twin Peaks while Lost Highways is his most structurally innovated film since his breakthrough picture Eraserhead (1977).

Blue Velvet takes place in a white picket fence suburb and tells the unusual story of Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) attempt to solve a murder mystery with intimate's to old film noirs. The film is renowned for his closet-voyeurism scene where he horribly discovers Dorothy Vallens masochistic sexuality. Jeffreys romantic interest is the detectives blonde, innocent daughter Sandy (Laura Dern). She is a light woman there to contrast the dark Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) a night-club singer Femme Fatale who sings Bobby Vinton’s Blue Velvet (the inspiration for the film). There is also the psychotic Dennis Hopper who represents repressed desires and ugliness and that are hidden in society.

Lost Highway is like a serpent swallowing its own tail. The film is hallucinatory in the way it twists all events together. The cyclical narrative structure reverts to the one of Eraserhead dealing with multiple-personality disorder in a bewildering manner fusing characters together. The film puts together powerful sound and image together to create spattered expressionistic effects. The film floats on adolescent subjects such as aggressively, manliness and dirty sex. Some of these events work while others are compelling tick off including the beating of a motorist for tailgating that seem excessive but their attributed to deadbeats anyway. In a film where the characters are more like interchangeable entities the thrill of it is in the perplexing rhythm structure.

(Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, Monday and Tuesday, August 25 and 26, 6:30 and 8:50)-David Davidson

No comments: