Close Up

8 - 17 April 2017: Take Two: Blue Velvet / Scorpio Rising


Blue Velvet
David Lynch
1986 | 120 min | Colour | 35mm

"After the failure of the epic sci-fi Dune that nearly ended Lynch’s career, he resolved to make a personal film, and ultimately settled on what would become his undisputed masterpiece of the 1980s, Blue Velvet. After finding a severed human ear in a field, Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) discovers, beneath his idyllic suburban hometown, a sinister underworld inhabited by damaged mystery lady Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) and her sadistic captor, Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper). The intense color palette, lush Old Hollywood orchestral score, and anachronistic flourishes inch Blue Velvet just past the realm of realism into a space without signposts that gets more disorienting the longer you stay in it. Upon its release, Blue Velvet became an instant cult film and, as more people saw it, a lightning rod for polarized reactions." – Film Society of Lincoln Centre

Scorpio Rising
Kenneth Anger
1964 | 28 min | Colour | Digital

"A swift and dense Eisensteinian montage of leather-clad bikers and hustlers, road accidents, Hollywood stars, comic strips, Christian icons, Nazi imagery, and a simulated orgy, Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising […] stands as one of the most widely seen and influential masterpieces of American cinema. Anger completed the film in late 1963, only a few weeks before the Kennedy assassination. He would later summarize Scorpio Rising as "a death mirror held up to American culture," and as society seemed to unravel in the years that followed, audiences flocked to peer into Anger’s morbid looking glass" – Ed Halter

Part of our retrospective on David Lynch