Yes. Yes, it is a very strange world. Especially if you’ve seen the cult classic Blue Velvet, a film by David Lynch.
Earlier this month, I watched Mulholland Drive and attempted to watch Eraserhead, because Spring Awakening director Michael Mayer had told us that Moritz’s hair is based on the title character. When I say “attempt” I mean I watched the first 15 minutes and couldn’t deal. Eraserhead was far too disturbing in the first 15 minutes and let me tell you that the images in those first 15 minutes still haunt me and this is coming from a gal who sat through Paranormal Activity without flinching. (However, I was unable to sleep for a week.)
David Lynch’s movies aren’t scary per se, but they are mighty disturbing and unsettling. His images are really nightmarish. I found myself looking away from the screen many times during Blue Velvet, because I didn’t want the images to be lodged in my subconscious forever, because I felt they definitely had the power to go there.
I had prepared dinner before popping in the VHS (Yes, I still own a VCR player). (Tangent: Isn’t it weird how you don’t put a VCR into a VCR? You put a VHS into a VCR. Oh, the mysteries of life.) Right, dinner: I made myself Indian Mango Fake-Chicken (I’m a vegetarian) with Rice and Naan Bread. I was really looking forward to this meal because I had really applied myself. Mama D would have been proud.
Blue Velvet’s opening scene takes place in a pretty suburban town and a man falls to the ground while watering his plants. The images are really bright and colourful. BUT, I have learned that pretty images don’t last long in Lynch’s movies.
Sure enough, the camera digs into the ground to reveal big, disgusting beetles roaming around in the dirt. Gross. I have a complex that when I see bugs, I imagine them right away in my mouth. I understand that this is a very strange statement, but I feel it comes from something that happened in my childhood. I was in Florida with my family as a little girl and found a dead dried bug near a plant. I guess I must have been hungry, because I picked it up and started chomping on it. Daddy D asked me what I was eating and I showed him the dried mutilated bug in my hand and he thankfully scooped it out of my mouth. Needless to say, I have a bug eating complex. And as I write this, you have no idea how difficult it is to NOT imagine bugs in my mouth. (To make matters worse, after a phone conversation with my mother today, she confirmed it was a beetle that I bit into, ironically enough.)
MOVING ON. That definitely cut my appetite and I considered turning off the movie. But then I considered the metaphorical aspect of the image: On the surface, it looks like a perfect suburban town, but underneath lies the sinful creatures of the underworld. Right and Wrong, Good and Evil are recurring themes in the movie.
Eventually, the young, handsome leading man (Kyle MacLaghlan) finds a severed human ear in a field and love (Laura Dern, not the ear. Although it would make for an interesting plot twist). P.S. Through all of this, I am still trying to eat dinner. The young man, Jeffrey, then decides to find the origin of this crime throughout the movie and this gets him into all sorts of trouble.
What a strange movie and an unsettling mystery. The crazy thing is that it almost didn’t even feel like a movie, it felt more like a nightmare. Lynch is considered a “post-modern” movie-maker, which is, I think, a great excuse for nothing making sense. Nonetheless, I did really enjoy the movie and especially Dennis Hopper’s performance in the role of the ultimate sadist villain, Frank Booth.
In the end, I have no interpretation to offer for this movie. I think that David Lynch’s movies are works of art and don’t need to have a specific meaning or interpretation. We take a ride into his twisted imagination for a couple of hours and that is enough for me. The only problem is that these images really stay with you. (God only knows how I am watching all these super creepy movies all alone in the darkness of my apartment and still find the courage to turn off the lights in my bedroom at night.)
If my asymmetrical bob would take the form of a movie, it would be a David Lynch film.
BOTTOM LINE: This is not a date movie. And it is definitely not for the weak of heart. I suggest watching it alone in your apartment one night or watching it with someone you want to impress or look smarter than and discuss whatever you’ve read in this blog. Oh yeah, and this movie is definitely rated R for a reason.
FUN FACT: Did you know that Kyle Riabko was named after the actor Kyle MacLachlan? On his 23rd birthday this past September, Mr. MacLaghlan actually gave Mr. Riabko a call to wish him well!
BLUE VELVET- Rating: 4 yards of blue velvet fabric out of 5
MULHOLLAND DRIVE- Rating: 4 Roads out of 5
Sleep tight, don't let David Lynch bite.
Protect your children.