Twin Peaks star took to social media today to celebrate his second project with director David Lynch and a movie that would prove a watershed moment for independent filmmaking in the late eighties and early nineties, the seminal art house feature, Blue Velvet. Although MacLachlan had worked with Lynch before on Dune, the first motion picture to adapt the Frank Herbert novel of the same name, it was Blue Velvet that would cement the pair’s working relationship which continues to this day.
Widely regarded as one of Lynch’s most important works, Blue Velvet is a Trojan horse of a film, an ostensible film noir murder thriller that actually peels back and exposes the seedy underbelly of an apparent suburban “paradise.” The film follows Jeffrey Beaumont, played by MacLachlan, a college student who returns to his hometown after his father suffers from a near-fatal seizure.
After finding a severed ear in a vacant lot, Jeffrey reports it to the police and then begins investigating the matters first on his own, then accompanied by teenager Sandy Williams, who quickly becomes his girlfriend. Running afoul of a ring of criminals, Jeffrey becomes obsessed with the leader’s mistress, Dorothy, played by Isabella Rossellini, who in turn becomes obsessed with him.
The movie re-ignited MacLachlan’s just-beginning career following a string of negative reviews for Lynch’s Dune, and also paved the way for the two to re-collaborate on Lynch’s 1990 surreal TV whodunnit, Twin Peaks. MacLachlan apparently still holds the film in high regard, cheekily commemorating its anniversary with the caption, “It’s been 36 years since we met a character very near and d-ear to my heart. Happy Anniversary #BlueVelvet!” using the “ear” emoji in reference to the movie’s inciting incident.
Blue Velvet received mixed reviews upon its release but quickly became a cult video hit, as well as an inspiration to countless indie filmmakers and has been cited by Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers as one of the most “influential American films” of all time.