Album are hardly the only art form to be declared masterpieces. How many teachers have said the same about books? Or museums with rare art? Films are no different, which is why we brought in the very wise and very noble Leah Pickett to host our most excellent new video series, Masterpiece Films. So, join us in the luxurious Music Box Lounge, where we discuss the greatest stories to ever hit celluloid.
The notion that Blue Velvet would one day be considered a masterpiece would have been hard to fathom back in 1986, when none other than Roger Ebert granted the film one measly star and labeled director David Lynch a sadist. Other critics were equally put off by the film’s stiff acting and dreamlike uncanniness — both hallmarks of Lynch’s style — or otherwise dismayed by the psychosexual abuse perpetrated by gas-snuffing Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper) on poor Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini).
But the past 30 years have been far kinder to Blue Velvet than Frank ever was to Dorothy. We can now look back on the film and appreciate it for what it truly is: a stylistically accomplished, wildly disorienting fever dream that dared to explore the darkest recesses of the human soul. In short, Blue Velvet is everything that makes Lynch one of a kind. It’s hilariously satirical and deeply frightening. It’s warm and affecting and yet, somehow, cold to the touch. In this episode of Masterpiece Films, we take a trip back to Lumberton to find out why the film continues to pull us into its shady apartment three decades down the line.