Blue Velvet | 1986
Disturbed, disturbing, visually glorious, nastily sadistic, but one of David Lynch’s most satisfying movies to date.
The apparently sweet and easy ‘Lumbertown’ – “at the sound of the falling tree”– is the movie city (it’s home to several movie studios) of Wilmington, North Carolina, and many of the locations can easily be recognised.
The general vista of ‘Lumbertown’ is the view of Wilmington across the Cape Fear River toward Water Street.
‘Arlene’s Restaurant’, where goofily naive Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) and Sandy (Laura Dern) hatch their plan to uncover Lumbertown’s secrets, wasn’t a restaurant at all, but the New Hanover Human Resources Office. However, you can now grab a bite to eat as you make your clandestine plans as it’s been taken over by the local Port City Java chain.Port City Java, 402 Chestnut Street at Fourth Street.
Sandy’s school is the New Hanover High School, 1307 Market Street.
The police station, where Jeffrey first glimpses the strange Man in Yellow, is the Wilmington Police Headquarters, 115 Redcross Street.
The gloomy ‘Deep River’ apartment block of troubled nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini), where Jeffrey witnesses one of the creepiest sex scenes in film history, is the Carolina Apartments, Market Street at Fifth Avenue. Oddly, it’s outside the apartment on Market Street that Curtis Hanson’s 1987 ‘Baltimore’-set thriller The Bedroom Window climaxes.