Showtime's stunning "Twin Peaks" revival has been a welcome reminder of David Lynch's genius, showing that even at age 71 he can still layer the dreamy artificiality of classic Hollywood with his own nightmarish vision of American rot. So the time is right for Peter Braatz's experimental documentary "Blue Velvet Revisited," which unearths a trove of behind-the-scenes photographs and Super 8 footage that the director shot on the set of Lynch's 1986 masterpiece.
Described by Braatz as "a meditation on a movie," "Revisited" isn't a straightforward look back at what happened more than 30 years ago. Cued to an original score by atmospheric musicians Tuxedomoon, John Foxx and Cult With No Name, "Blue Velvet Revisited" is more collage-like, organized by theme and mood rather than chronologically.
Braatz takes his conversations with Lynch (some on-camera, some not), and cuts them together with on-screen text excerpts from their correspondence and from the script, woven around mundane (but fascinating) shots of the cast and crew hanging around between shots.
The approach isn't always satisfying. Some clips could use more setup, or even just a basic explanation.
But it's a treat to see the youthful Lynch waxing enthusiastic about the then-latest filmmaking technologies; or even to see him personally finishing the detailing on a background prop. The impression that comes across is that this is what it takes to be a great artist: awareness, imagination and a willingness to do whatever needs to be done.
‘Blue Velvet Revisited’
Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes.
Playing: Downtown Independent, Los Angeles