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Bodin, G. Poulsen, I. (1994). Psychic conflicts in contemporary language An analysis of the film “Blue Velvet” by David Lynch. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 17(2):159-177.

(1994). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 17(2):159-177

Psychic conflicts in contemporary language An analysis of the film “Blue Velvet” by David Lynch

Gudrun Bodin, Cand, psych and Ib Poulsen, Ph.D.

It is a well-known truth that fairy tales, in various ways, stage psychic truths and conflicts. Bettelheim points this out in the book “The Uses of Enchantment” (1977) as do Villy Sørensen in “Digtere og Dæemoner” (1959), and Martin Lotz in “Eventyrbroen” (1988) in Denmark. However, society changes as do the people, and this requires new modes of expression in order to maintain the power to fascinate and the ability to narrate. Some of the films which have been labelled as “cult-movies” could be viewed as fairy tales told in contemporary language. Blue Velvet (1985) is a film of this kind, and thus not merely a film. For many people, this is the epitomy of a cult-movie, a film which they have watched several times, a film from which they can quote and which in itself is a pleasurable event to re(view) (Jerslev 1993, pp. 9ff); almost to the same extent as others feel about Michael Curtiz' Casablanca (1942) or Howard Hawk's The Mystery of Sternwood (1946), David Lynch has produced other films with a similar status, amongst them, the science-fiction film Eraserhead (1977) and the TV-series Twin Peaks (1990).

However, what turns a film into a cult-movie? Most importantly, this is not a status which a particular film simply assumes. This is something which the film becomes, because the audience makes it happen; e.g.,

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