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Thursday, June 20

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U.S., 1986
Directed by David Lynch
With Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper
Approx. 120 mins. DCP.

“Heineken?! F**k that sh**t! Pabst Blue Ribbon!” Aaah! An azure sky; glistening red tulips along a white picket fence; a stalwart fireman, his Dalmatian beside him, waves from a fire truck moving in slo-mo; a crossing guard directs school kids; a woman sips tea in front of the TV while her husband waters their manicured lawn — all in gorgeous color & Scope, accompanied by the oh-so-soothing voice of Bobby Vinton singing the title tune. But wait. Now the hose is caught — is the man having a stroke?! And why are we power-diving into the earth and seeing those disgusting bugs, in ultra-close-up?! Oh, wait a minute, this is a David Lynch film. So, here’s a tip for all-American square Kyle MacLachlan: Don’t check out the rotting, ant-infested severed ear in the grass. And, even though you’ve got this thing for mysterious “Blue Lady” Isabella Rossellini, don’t hide in her bedroom closet in hopes of sneaking a peak. But this is a Lynch movie, so its depiction of idyllic “Lumberton, U.S.A.” shows its dark underside of sexual violence, kidnapping, murder, and karaoke, and, in Dennis Hopper’s amyl-nitrite-snorting Frank Booth, one of the most dangerous, repellent, and magnetic psychopaths ever to haunt the screen, while Laura Dern, in her first major role, incarnates the girl next door as extremely as Hopper does in essaying pure slime. Controversial from its premiere, VELVET polarized critics like no other movie, with a thumbs-downing from normal champion of the offbeat Roger Ebert, but with Boston, L.A., and National Film Critics awarding it, the Academy nominating Lynch for Best Director, and an anointing by Pauline Kael, who hailed its “charged erotic atmosphere” and “aural-visual humor and poetry.”


“STILL ENRAPTURES AND CONFOUNDS! Three decades after its initial release, David Lynch’s BLUE VELVET has lost none of its power to derange, terrify, and exhilarate.”
– Melissa Anderson, The Village Voice

“ONE OF THE SEMINAL TITLES OF THE 1980s! The chance to see a restored version on the big screen is an essential experience for anyone who is a fan of the movies.”
– Zack Sharf, Indiewire

“THE LAST REAL EARTHQUAKE TO HIS CINEMA! No one could quite match the combination of horrific, comedic, aural, and subliminal effects Lynch rumbled out in this masterpiece.”
– Guy Maddin

“ECSTATIC CREEPINESS. There hasn’t been an American film so rich, so formally controlled, so imaginatively cast and so charged with its maker’s psychosexual energy since RAGING BULL.”
– J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

“The seamless blending of beauty and horror is remarkable, the terror very real, and the sheer wealth of imagination virtually unequaled in recent cinema.”
– Geoff Andrew, Time Out (London)

Film Forum