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FRIDAY & SATURDAY

Leave it to director David Lynch to pitch a film as “Norman Rockwell meets Hieronymous Bosch.” The comparison certainly suits his 1986 cult masterpiece, Blue Velvet, playing this weekend as part of the Midnight Movie/Kick the Keg series at Visions. (No word yet on whether the keg—which will be in the theater on Saturday—will contain Pabst Blue Ribbon, a libation unforgettably recommended in the film.) Lynch, who went to high school in Alexandria, left this area in the dust after a stint at the Corcoran School of Art and went on to flesh out his creepy, hypersymbolic imagination in movies such as Dune, Eraserhead, and Wild at Heart. But Blue Velvet may be the quintessential Lynch film: Lushly nostalgic, deeply disturbing, and often wildly funny, the movie is a twisty tone poem that revels in the decay of innocence—and is a veritable field day for Freudians. While clean-scrubbed Kyle MacLachlan investigates the mystery of a severed ear found in the idyllic burg of Lumberton, the real drama steams from the sadomasochistic tango of Isabella Rossellini’s (pictured, right) hungry nightclub vamp and Dennis Hopper’s (pictured, left) psychotic mobster Frank Booth. Time hasn’t softened Blue Velvet’s American Gothic nightmare involving green lawns, golden oldies, nitrous oxide, and the chicken walk. It’s a strange world, isn’t it? Blue Velvet screens at midnight Friday, Aug. 17, and Saturday, Aug. 18, at Visions, 1927 Florida Ave. NW. $5-$10. (202) 667-0090. (Neda Ulaby)