November 12, 2010

Dino De Laurentiis 1919-2010

Blue Velvet was David Lynch's intended follow-up to Eraserhead, and I assume that, on some level, Dino De Laurentiis backed the film as Lynch's payoff for the thankless task of directing Dune. De Laurentiis is better known these days for epic schlock (Death Wish, King Kong) than commercial neorealism (Bitter Rice, La Strada), but considering Dune's failure to set the world on fire, a lesser producer would scarcely have thought twice about giving Lynch the shaft. It's a strange world, all right: De Laurentiis is not just a man of his word, he's also a patron of the arts.
-- J Hoberman, Village Voice, September 22, 1986. The Blue Velvet review, "Return to Normalcy", is collected in Hoberman's excellent Vulgar Modernism (Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1991).