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This Weekend's Must-See: "Blue Velvet"

by Anthony Kaufman
March 3, 2006 6:11 AM
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This weekend's choice was a tough one: Rachel Boynton's smart nonfiction political thriller "Our Brand is Crisis" is definitely worth seeing, and "Dave Chapelle's Block Party" mixes humor, music and politics into a free-wheeling, rip-roaring, hip-shaking, feel-good mass that could only come from the boyish heart of Michel Gondry, and I wish I could recommend Hong Sang-soo's "Woman is the Future of Man," except I have not seen it yet (see Dargis' review). But you just can't compete with David Lynch's 1986 surrealist masterpiece "Blue Velvet" and the chance to see that lush Technicolor version of Americana on the big screen must come once in a (forgive me) blue moon.

Now that it's essentially 1986 all over again (right-wing presidency, Iran as political hotspot), I can't think of a better movie to remind us of the dark, sadistic and sexual perversity that lies beneath the surface of the American experience. If you've never seen "Blue Velvet," get thee to Film Forum immediately. And if you have, that opening shot of slow motion suburbia, white picket fences, the sudden rush of a heart attack and the black, gnarly bugs teeming beneath the grass never loses its power. This time around, be sure to pay close attention to that little bird: In a world of torture, Oedipal nightmare and severed ears, it's got to be the strangest thing in the entire movie.

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