“In Dreams” – Blue Velvet

Blue Velvet (1986) is director David Lynch’s surrealist take on Reagan-era suburban America. The film thematically illustrates the duality in “normal” society; suggesting that below the harmless and modern utopian surface, lies a heinous and demoralized interior.

Lynch, well known for his meticulous sound design, employs music as a means to enhance characterization and thematic development. In the following two scenes, Lynch makes use of Roy Orbison’s 1963 hit, “In Dreams,” and juxtaposes Frank Booth’s celebratory appreciation of the “candy colored clown,” with his use of the song as a drug that fuels his homoerotic tendencies and need for physical and sexual dominance. The duality of the song’s use, and Frank’s character, is emblematic of the film’s overall thematic message of showcasing the overlooked dent on society’s windshield.

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