The Screen: Into the Shadows - Blue Velvet

a singer in front of a microphone
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This season we delve into the dark and explore psychoanalyst Carl Jung's concept of "the shadow". These films span the last century and probe those ignored or repressed parts of our collective unconscious. What happens when they surface?

On a visit to his small hometown of Lumberton, college student Jefferey finds a severed ear. Intrigued, he teams up with high school student Sandy to solve the mystery. Their paths cross with an enigmatic lounge singer, Dorothy Vellens, leading them to tumble deep down a rabbit hole looking for answers. On the way, he discovers uncovered parts of his own psyche. The white picket fences, apple pie, and perfectly cut lawns of typical suburban America feel like a stark contradiction to the murky milieu they find themselves in. However, on closer inspection, the evil, perversion, and darkness they discover in this underground world feel like two sides of the same coin.

Jung would highlight that the brighter one side is, the darker and denser the shadow becomes. Whilst Lynch invites us to go into the depths with him; he is a little uncomfortable with how to handle it when we get there. But perhaps that's part of what's novel about the ride with a filmmaker like this. An iconic and original film that's both influential and cherished by many.

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