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by Michael Atkinson (Goodreads Author)
For many, Blue Velvet is David Lynch's masterpiece. It crystallises many of his chief preoccupations: the evil and violence underlying the surface of suburbia, the seedy by-ways of sexuality, the frightening appearance of the adult world to a child's eyes. In this intricate and layered reading of the film, Michael Atkinson analyses Blue Velvet as the definitive expression ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by British Film Institute
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My second read from the pile of BFI classic film books my wife bought at a library sale, Atkinson's mostly worthwhile and entertaining close read of Lynch's Blue Velvet stays near to the text, using what's in the frame and on the screen to make his interpretations and connections. Atkinson leans a little too heavily on Freudian oedipal theory for my taste, but he does a solid job backing up most of his analysis with evidence drawn from the film's form, images, sounds, and dialogue.
As much as I ...more
As much as I ...more
A little before halfway through this book, Atkinson writes, "A sound indication of the degree to which the ambience of Lynch's universe is so successfully contrived is that we often don't know why it works," with no apparent irony regarding the fact that this is presumably the exact problem which he's been tasked with addressing. It's this essentially uncurious and non-inquisitive nature of Atkinson's writing that is most unappealing; even if the reader were to accept the premise that there is n ...more
Excellent treatment of David Lynch's 1986 masterwork (in my opinion) Blue Velvet. All of the BFI Modern Classics volumes are thin, but Atkinson explores quite a lot in just 80 pages. I wish the book were longer, but that's what you get with this series. A must-read for anyone interested in Lynch's work in general and this film in particular.
A son of Long Island and a father of three, I love very good beer, shellfish of any sort, Italian opera in the summertime, and movies. I own more books than I do any other one thing. I love writing, though, making sentences. In addition to my books, I've written, and still write, film criticism, cultural attack, book reviews and essays for The Village Voice, The Believer, Sight & Sound, The Gu ...moreMore about Michael Atkinson...