Film Review : Blue Velvet

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David Lynch’s 1986 film Blue Velvet is recognised worldwide for not only it’s manipulation of the psychological horror and film-noir genres, but also for it’s compelling portrayal of shifting erotic triangles and homosocial bonds. The scenes shown between 1:27:00 and 1:32:23 provide a clear snapshot of these complex relationships, and give insight into other character interactions throughout the wider film. References to the infamous Oedipal complex and Freudian findings, as well as succinct manipulation of media conventions further strengthen the presentation of these shifting romantic, familial and friendship relations. Before discussing the significance of erotic triangles and homosocial bonds within Blue Velvet, it is imperative to gain a clear understanding of these terms. An erotic triangle typically involves three romantically involved persons, and connotes an arrangement unsuitable for one or more of the three participants (Cooper, 1974). Two key forms of the erotic triangle have been distinguished: the rivalrous triangle and the split-object triangle (Person, 1988). In the rivalrous triangle the protagonist competes with another for the affection of the beloved, whilst the split-object triangle sees the protagonist split his/her attention between two objects (Person, 1988). Each member of the erotic triangle will have some sort of relationship to one another. Although predominantly romantic, these relationships can also be familial or friendship based (Schank &

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