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Dirty Velvet

October 05, 1986

The word "genius" is thrown around in Hollywood with a certain amount of abandon: Everybody from Woody Allen to the guys who make heads explode in horror movies seem to qualify.

So it's pretty dismaying when the genuine article comes along, David Lynch, and gets his movie "Blue Velvet" referred to by Charles Champlin as a "film naif," the produce of an "immature imagination" ("Can 'Blue Velvet' Stand Up to Serious Scrutiny?," Sept. 23).

The movie may be a lot of things, but naive and immature it is not. Instead it looks like the very carefully planned and executed work of an authentic cinematic genius who works in a style that purposefully appears naive, in order to make a modern audience actually think and feel things they've probably repressed. I can only ask, is Champlin implying that he is somehow more sophisticated than the director who made "Eraserhead," "The Elephant Man" and "Blue Velvet"?

And who, working in movies today, does he consider capable of making "mature" masterpieces?

TIM METCALFE

Beverly Hills

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