Blue Velvet Revisited
Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Blue Velvet and the festival celebrated the occasion by premiering Peter Braatz’s experimental documentary Blue Velvet Revisited — this wasn’t any old retrospective, though. Back in 1985, Braatz was given carte blanche to film whatever he wanted during the shoot around Wilmington, North Carolina. As such, the film features an intriguing array of never-before-seen footage that captures the cast and crew in a unique light. The film’s formless execution left a little to be desired, but you really got a sense of Lynch’s creative genius, watching him carefully design a Lumberton sign out of masking tape or embodying the character of Jeffrey Beaumont as he similarly tossed rocks or shuffled around silently.
But, it was even more special to see Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern 15 minutes after the screening. The two stars were joined by film critic Elvis Mitchell, who kept things very conversational, touching upon Lynch’s process and the familial experience of the shoot, which Dern likened to “the most amazing summer camp ever.” MacLachlan recalled meeting with Lynch at a Bob’s Big Boy, explaining how they’d “sit and draw and drink coffee.” Both were quite transparent in their love for the director. “He has this magical way of being deliciously irreverent,” Dern admitted. “Literally, day one, it felt like I had found my maestro.” MacLachlan, who recently reunited for Twin Peaks, confessed: “On the first day on set, I was so happy. It was like no time had passed.”
The same could have been said for MacLachlan and Dern. The two appeared inseparable, glowing with chemistry as they revisited the past together — it was like something out of a Richard Linklater film (think: Before Sunset). A couple of stories really struck the heart, specifically one where the cast bundled together at a stony mansion in Wilmington, where they braced for a torrential hurricane that never came. As MacLachlan said, “It was just a windy night.” Or when Dern and MacLachlan stumbled into Griffin Dunne after he had just seen Blue Velvet at a nearby theater, scaring the American Werewolf in London star. In hindsight, they could have kept going for another two hours before the crowd would start losing their ears.