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Blue Velvet Revisited (Imagine Film Festival, 2019)

Imagine Film Festival, which runs April 10–20 at EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is loaded with amazing genre film fare from around the world. Among the outstanding slices of cinema offered during the fest’s first few nights this year were two films dealing with different types of domestic horror, and a behind-the-scenes documentary about David Lynch’s still-disturbing Blue Velvet (1986).

Blue Velvet Revisited

As a fan of David Lynch and Blue Velvet — one of my very top favorite films of all time — I was eager to see what the documentary Blue Velvet Revisited (2016) had to offer. Lynch invited German writer/director Peter Braatz to document the behind-the-scenes world of the shooting of Blue Velvet, and after 30 years, Braatz finally edited his super 8mm footage and photographs together.

This film lacks narration, with the director instead opting for an instrumental, ethereal rock music soundtrack with snippets of his on-set interviews with Lynch and stars Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, and other cast and crew members. The result is a loose meditation rather than a coherent documentary. The film does have plenty of interesting rare footage and audio, with highlights such as Rossellini rehearsing her “Blue Velvet” nightclub scene without her wig and iconic dress, and Lynch talking about how he would like to make films using computers should the technology ever become available.

The documentary also comes off more as a valentine to Lynch — with a decidedly Lynchian feel to some of the sequences — than as an effort focusing on Blue Velvet, but overall Blue Velvet Revisited should be worth a watch to fans of the legendary director and his groundbreaking neo-noir horror classic. For those who would argue about Blue Velvet not being horror, Dennis Hopper states that it is exactly that in this documentary.

  • Joseph Perry, Blue Velvet Revisited
Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.