Title

Interpreting "Blue Velvet": A film ethnography of small town America inverted and possible extensions to small town Canada.

Date of Award

1990

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Selby, Stuart A.,

Keywords

Cinema.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

This thesis applies ethnographic theories and methods, until recently reserved for the study of primitive and non-industrial culture, to a modern, industrial cultural product, David Lynch's 1986 film, Blue Velvet. It both describes and interprets the social action taking place within the film's constructed small town, Lumberton. The thesis provides an overview of some of the principal sources of the small town mythology of America, including films, television series, and the illustrations of Norman Rockwell. It shows how, within the American media, there has been a shift since World War II from the idealistic aesthetic of Rockwell and 1950's television towards a more satirical and realistic view of the American small town. Blue Velvet is a culmination of this process, resulting in a portrayal of a small town where the myth and the demythologized constantly interpenetrate. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 30-03, page: 0408. Chairperson: Stuart A. Selby. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1990.