Sunday, 30 May 2010

A monstrous talent: Blue Velvet Studies in Memory of Dennis Hopper

"Why are there people like Frank?"
"A truly Bad Bad Guy is not believable and impossible to connect with. That is unless your whole story world is twisted and strange in itself; Like Dennis Hopper's truly Bad Bad Guy in David Lynch's Blue Velvet." Sune Liltop, 'Good Guy / Bad Guy',  P.O.V. No.28, 2009

"...the conflict between smoothness and pent-up rage that defines Hopper's roles in films like David Lynch's Blue Velvet [1986]" Adrian Danks, "Nice 'N' Easy: Speaking Frankly about The Night We Called it a Day', Senses of Cinema, Issue 28, 2003

As Film Studies For Free is sure all of its readers will have learned by now, American movie actor, director and artist Dennis Hopper died yesterday. Some remarkable tributes to him have appeared in the last weeks, few if any better than those by filmmaker-critic Matt Zoller Seitz (see his video essay here; and a further written tribute here). Since the news of his death was made public, David Hudson has been collecting a full list of online tributes to Dennis Hopper here.

For FSFF's author, while she has a big soft spot for The Hot Spot (1990) as well as Easy Rider (1969), two films directed by Hopper, his most memorable contribution to the cinema was, in her view, his performance as the raging psychopath Frank Booth in David Lynch's 1986 film Blue Velvet. So this masterful film forms the (usually main) subject of each of the notable resources linked to in the scholarly webliography offered up today.  

Rest in peace, Mr Hopper.

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