Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) is a nice kid who befriends a nice girl (Laura Dern) living in Lumberton, a nice little town in the Pacific Northwest. But things get a lot less nice when Jeffrey finds a severed ear in a field. He takes it to the cops, but curiosity compels him to investigate the matter further himself. It's a decision that will turn his life inside out, leading him into the bedroom of Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini), a sultry singer who has a twisted relationship going on with Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), a sadistic, gas-huffing psycho with major mommy issues.
Blue Velvet was an unlikely mainstream success in 1986. It's the picture that turned Hopper's stalled career around; you'll never look at him again without hearing Booth holler, "I'll fuck anything that moves!" It was also director David Lynch's first comeback (it seems like he's had half a dozen since) following the costly debacle that was Dune, in a time when, as Lynch has put it, "I was down so far that anything was up." Lynch made Blue Velvet on a low budget with complete creative freedom, resulting in a picture so nightmarishly odd that producer Dino De Laurentiis had to set up his own distribution company just to get the thing into theaters. Twenty years later(!), Blue Velvet, like Booth himself, is as fascinatingly "sick and dangerous" as ever. Edwards Rancho Santa Margarita, 30632 Santa Margarita Pkwy., Rancho Santa Margarita, (949) 888-3358. Tues. (TONIGHT), 8 p.m. $6; Edwards South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (800) 326-3264. Wed., 8 p.m. $6.
Instandstillnessence. New video artwork from John Oswald features very, very slowly changing photo portraits of the people of Toronto. Hey, it's a "special screening" of a sort! Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach. (949) 759-1122. Tues.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thru May 31. $8-$10. Free admission every Thurs.
Las mantenidas sin sueos (Kept & Dreamless). Vera Fogwill & Martin Desalvo's 2005 drama promises to "immerses us in the intimacies of the feminine world" as we follow a feuding mother and daughter through their domestic travails. It's the latest picture in UC Irvine's Latin American Film Festival, which continues through the end of May. UCI Film and Video Center, Humanities Instructional Bldg., Rm. 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Sat., 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Matando Cabos (Killing Cabos). Alejandro Lozano's 2004 Mexican dark comedy about a group of kids caught up in a kidnapping scheme involving a retired wrestler and a parrot. It's the latest picture in UC Irvine's Latin American Film Festival, which continues through the end of May. UCI Film and Video Center, Humanities Instruction Bldg., Rm. 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418;www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Fri., 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Oxhide. 23-year-old Chinese filmmaker Liu Jiayin makes her directorial debut with this arty documentary portrait of her family. Comprised of 23 fixed shots, featuring only her family onscreen and shot mostly in the middle of the night, the film captures a family dynamic Jiayin describes as "narrow, depressive, dim and warm." Jiayin appears at the screening. UCI Film and Video Center, Humanities Instruction Bldg., Rm. 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418;www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Thurs., May 11, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Pioneering video artists. The Orange County Museum of Art presents a new selection of video artwork at South Coast Plaza, including 1973's Global Groove by Nam June Paik and Cory Arcangel and Frankie Martin's 2004 satire on early '90s pop culture, 414-RAVE-95. OCMA's Orange Lounge atSouth Coast Plaza, third floor of the Crate & Barrel wing, 3333 Bear St., Ste. 303, Costa Mesa, (949) 759-1122, ext. 272; www.ocma.net/orangelounge/. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Free.
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Roman Holiday. Audrey Hepburn stars as a spunky princess, bored with palace life, who flees into the arms of down-to-earth reporter, Gregory Peck. A charming trifle from director William Wyler, starring two people who are both so annoyingly beautiful to look upon that they make the rest of us look like sad, shambling apes. Bay Theatre, 340 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 431-9988. Sun., 6 p.m.; Mon., 8 p.m.; Thurs., May 18, 6 p.m. $6-$8.
Transnational Tradeswomen. Former construction worker Vivian Price directs and narrates this documentary look at women construction workers around the world. Price appears at the screening. UCI Film and Video Center, Humanities Instruction Bldg., Rm. 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418;www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Thurs., May 18, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Unicorn Kryptonite: A Full Moon Film Screening. "A fantasy flavoured set of 11 short films." enView Gallery, 320 Elm Ave., Long Beach. Sat., 9 p.m.
Mail your press releases (and a videotape, if available) to Special Screenings,OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701-7417. Or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. All materials must be received at least two weeks before the screening.