This is as good a Friday treat as we’re ever likely to offer. Just as I celebrated the 25th anniversary of the film this summer, it was announced that fifty minutes of deleted scenes had been recovered for David Lynch‘s seminal 1986 film Blue Velvet. Those scenes are available on the film’s new Blu-ray disc release, which streets next week, on November 8. I just watched a handful of the ‘new’ scenes, and while I haven’t yet seen them in full blu-ray resolution, what I did see suggested that the mastering and color correction all supervised by Lynch, were done with a meticulous attention to detail.
But don’t take my word for it. Below you’ll find a scene featuring Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper) threatening one of his ‘friends’ as Jeffrey Beaumont and Dorothy Vallens (Kyle MacLachlan and Isabella Rossellini) look on in horror. The clip is considered NSFW due to language and nudity, but given that this is a Frank Booth scene, I’m sure that does not come as a surprise.
Oh, and this features the infamous lost ‘woman lighting her nipples on fire’ moment, which Lynch has called a favorite scene. It has been discussed by many Lynch fans, but seen by few people. I’ve wanted to see this scene for many, many years. Read More »
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Twenty-five years ago, David Lynch held a crystal clear mirror up to the face of America. Blue Velvet, which had played festivals in Montreal and Toronto, opened in the US on September 19, 1986. It was mainstream America’s real introduction to the private world of David Lynch. Eraserhead was still a cult film. While many people had seen The Elephant Man and some (not many) had seen Dune, few were prepared for the deeply idiosyncratic dreamscape Americana seen in Blue Velvet. Attacked for depicting a savage sexuality rarely seen on screen, the movie attracted no shortage of negative attention, but it quickly became regarded as a classic.
After twenty-five years Blue Velvet’s mysterious and musical vision of middle-American life remains seductive and powerful. Its gallows humor still earns laughs, and a peculiar clash of of classical Hollywood and noirish styles draws viewers in to Lynch’s unique world. The classic and noir impulses came out of Lynch’s own fondness for movies, but combined with his depiction of raw, violent sexuality they suggested something specific. That is, the deranged sexual power games in Blue Velvet aren’t anomalies; they’re what was always going on when the camera panned away in movies of the past.
The film established the career of Laura Dern and prevented Kyle MacLachlan’s image from being lost in the sandstorm of Dune. (MacLachlan’s look as the young Jeffrey Beaumont was actually based on Lynch’s own sartorial manner.) More than anything else it gave Dennis Hopper a framework in which to create one of the strongest, ugliest and most frightening characters ever seen on the silver screen: the raging gangster and sexual manchild Frank Booth.
The film’s twenty-fifth birthday is something to celebrate. As Jeffrey says when making a toast in the film, “here’s to an interesting experience.” Read More »
Here’s the best news I’ve heard all day: David Lynch says that footage previously thought lost from a rough cut of Blue Velvet has been found and may be included on the forthcoming Blu-ray release of the film. A new HD transfer of the director’s landmark picture — which will hopefully showcase the incredible cinematography of Frederick Elmes with new detail and subtlety — is exciting enough. But to think we might get some new footage is absolutely thrilling. Details after the jump. Read More »
It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a premiere for a provocative indie, a mini review, or a look at a book on a filmmaker’s life.
Any self-respecting male should take a few moments each year to look to the life of Dennis Hopper for inspiration, and this doesn’t include watching the Hollywood renaissance man hold down his crazy button in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 or laughing in a haze at his hunt for candy in Thailand between ping pong bouts on Fishing with John. There are numerous reference books and movie history tomes available to familiarize and refresh on the actor and filmmaker’s invaluable contributions to film and counter culture. The latest is a coffee table book published by Rizzoli entitled Dennis Hopper & The New Hollywood that spans his acting career and allots a fair portion to his well-recognized black and white photography and personal art collection.
The timing of the release is ideal, seeing how last month Hopper was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in July his art work will be exhibited at the MoCA, marking the highly anticipated debut of new museum head Jeffrey Deitch. After the jump, I’ve included a few excerpts and cool page shots.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, excluding Valentine’s Day starring every safe, boring white actor ever, that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a new trailer for a provocative indie, a mini review or an interview.
In 1986, a supernatural moto-fantasy about a murdered bro who returns via a phantasmic, black stealth race car to kill his killers was released on Earth and no one gave a shit. More than two decades later, The Wraith, though forever without a wet ‘stache lick from Peter Travers, is cult-minted for being memorable-enough ’80s-ploitation. Next month sees the release of a Special Edition DVD that adequately recognizes and explores the movie’s legacy and history with commentary courtesy director Mike Marvin and featurettes on the film’s semi-iconic Dodge racer and co-star Clint Howard (who, if not semi-iconic himself, sported a semi-iconic wig inspired by Eraserhead for the film).
Revisiting The Wraith, what’s interesting is how this derivative hybrid of genres and classic revenge films—Marvin references High Plains Drifter and The Road Warrior—remains sublimely adolescent but in an inherently cold and detached way. Stranger still is how this suits the film’s undead hero, vehicle, and hints of an afterlife with a decidedly mechanical bent. And before viewing the S.E. I had no idea a crew member died and many others were injured in a chase scene gone awry. One stunt coordinator recounts how a grip fell 60-feet down a rocky embankment and was only found knocked-out but okay hours later. Nor did I know (or need to) that a sunbathing scene with lead star Charlie Sheen as the titular, ghostly hero and co-star Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks, Wild at Heart) was shot on a “near-freezing” day. Hearing these stories, I wonder now if the troubles of the production didn’t contribute to the overall tone. And looking back at the film itself, which was released the same year as Top Gun, Ferris Bueller, and Blue Velvet, might The Wraith, however unintentionally, deserve to be called Lynchian?
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Today, a few readers inquired about the legitimacy of David_Lynch on Twitter, and the priceless video above confirms that it is indeed him, director of Eraserhead and proud Eagle Scout. As you might expect/hope, Lynch’s frequently updated Twitter stream flows like a stilted algorithm for transcendental meditation mantras (“Don’t look at the big pile.”), helpful L.A. weather forecasts, and plugs for his coffee. Filmmaking tips and discussion are not the MO here. So, yeah, it has a semblance to his book, Catching the Big Fish, except it’s free and your yogi-lovin’ relatives can’t gift you it at Christmas.
In other Lynchian news, who else is enjoying these marathons of Twin Peaks on the /Film approved Chiller channel?