When David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” officially joins the ranks of The Criterion Collection this May, it will do with a bonus feature that is bound to be appointment viewing for Lynch fans all over the world. “The Lost Footage,” a 51-minute compilation of deleted scenes and alternate takes assembled by Lynch himself, will be included in the Criterion release as one of several special edition features. The footage has long been teased by Lynch, who announced back in 2011 that previously lost footage from an early “Blue Velvet” rough cut had been discovered.
“You know, there is a thing called b-negative, or outtakes, or lifts, that don’t make it into the film,” Lynch told L.A. Radio station KCRW at the time. “And in the old days, those things sat around and maybe became dangerously close to being tossed away. So, one day I looked into seeing where the [‘Blue Velvet’] lifts were because some of these scenes on their own would be beautiful to see again…Lately, those have been found. Somewhere up in Seattle. It’s incredible. I’m seeing stuff I thought was gone forever.”
The lost footage was previously included on the film’s 25th anniversary Blu-ray release. One of the biggest discoveries in the footage is the original introduction of the film’s protagonist, Jeffrey Beaumont. The “Blue Velvet” theatrical cut introduced Jeffrey walking to visit his father in the hospital, but Lynch originally filmed a scene introducing Jeffrey while he watched a sexual act take place in a grungy basement. The cut scene brought Jeffrey’s penchant for voyeurism to the surface almost instantly.
Other bonus features on the Criterion release include a new 4K digital restoration of the movie, a 70-minute behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the film, and a feature-length meditation on the film by Peter Braatz, among other features. “Blue Velvet” joins “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,” “Mulholland Drive,” and “Eraserhead” as Lynch’s next Criterion entry.
“Blue Velvet” stars Kyle MacLachlan as Jeffrey Beaumont, a young man home from college who discovers a severed ear in the grass. The discovery brings him face to face with a mysterious lounge singer (Isabelle Rossellini) and a vulgar psychopath (Dennis Hopper) who will stop at nothing to keep the singer in his grip. Laura Dern co-stars as Jeffrey’s friend Sandy Williams.