30 for 30: Blue Velvet (1986)




I know nothing about nineteen eighty-six other than the fact that it introduced me to my beloved sister Rhea. And frankly, nothing else matters. Like all siblings, we started out as sworn enemies, but eventually, like all those buddy cop movies go, we grew into best friends. I can say with confidence that there is no other person in the world who understands me better than you. And like I said during your beautiful wedding in December, you’re one of the bravest and most inspiring people I know. You’re the person I turn to whenever I’m in a conundrum. You’re also the first person I talk to whenever I have something exciting to share! You’re the first person I spoke to about Monica and you’re the first person I spoke to when I got my new job. And even though you’re on the opposite side of the country, I know that like mom, dad and that rascal we call “Ransel,” you’ll always have my back, no matter what.

When I began this project two weeks ago, I didn’t think about adding any personal tidbits. It was supposed to be just a collection of movies counting down to my birthday. But somewhere down the line, the project evolved to the point where I started connecting my movies to moments in my life. I used Rain Man to talk about my brother, and When Harry Met Sally to talk about Monica. Goodfellas made a nice match with my crazy cousins, while Saving Private Ryan was the perfect match for the year I fell in love with movies. But when it came to 1986 and connecting my sister to my favorite movie – no dice. Sorry Rhea! This was the most difficult year to pick a movie from. My original pick was Woody Allen’s charming Hannah and Her Sisters – my favorite of the maestro’s films. But then, I made the mistake of looking back at the list of movies released in 1986 and realized that maybe Hannah and Her Sisters wasn’t my favorite of the bunch. James Cameron’s terrific Aliens, Rob Reiner’s eternal Stand By Me and Oliver Stone’s still-harrowing Oscar-winner Platoon all made convincing cases for the title. Then there was Top Gun (which I always get a laugh over) and Hoosiers. I also considered David Cronenberg’s icky The Fly before dropping that idea. My runners-up ended being John Hughes endlessly rewatchable Ferris Bueller’s Day Off which, on paper, made the most sense. It’s a great 80s movie AND it just so happened to fit perfectly with my relationship with my sister. It’s also the movie from 1986 I find myself revisiting the most. But then I decided to revisit David Lynch’s bizarre and still downright-gripping subversive masterpiece BLUE VELVET and realized that my my decision had been made for me. Any movie that can take an innocent and beautiful song like Roy Orbison’s “Dreams” and turn it into a deranged anthem for psychos called “Candy Colored Clown” deserves to be number 1. Oh, and Dennis Hopper’s the man!

About 30-for-30

Movies are a huge part of my life – I mean, why else would I be running a blog/site devoted to movies? To commemorate the occasion of my 30th birthday (later this month), I’ll be counting down to the big day by posting a photo of my favorite movie for each year of the last 30 years I’ve survived on this planet. These aren’t my favorite 30 movies EVER but merely the movie I consider my favorite (or the best) of each year. This is my 30 for 30. Click here to see the other 30 for 30 posts.


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