Wilmington, NC—Cucalorus Film Foundation and the 76th annual North Carolina Azalea Festival are pleased to announce a premiere collaboration to celebrate the local film industry. Special guest Jeff Goodwin will join us for a screening of David Lynch’s cult classic film, Blue Velvet. Goodwin will bring the iconic ear to the screening and talk about his time working on the Wilmington based production. The screening is scheduled to take place Friday, April 14, 2023 at 7:30pm at Jengo’s Playhouse and will be followed by a very blue and velvety party with signature cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. For the first time ever, two of the largest festivals in southeastern North Carolina are collaborating to celebrate the film industry’s storied legacy here in Wilmington.
NC Azalea Festival Executive Director Alison Baringer states, “The mission of the North Carolina Azalea Festival is to stimulate the region’s economy while promoting volunteerism, which we do through celebrating our community. There is little dispute as to the economic impact the movie industry has had on Wilmington, and Blue Velvet is often said to be the film that was the catalyst for Wilmington becoming “Hollywood East.” Cucalorus honors and reinforces the film industry’s ties to Wilmington, and for this, we are honored to partner together to celebrate the influence films have had in our community.”
One of the earliest films produced in Wilmington by Dino DeLaurentiis, Blue Velvet is regarded as one of the best American independent films ever made. It features performances by Dennis Hopper, Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Laura Dern and a host of local characters, many of whom David Lynch plucked from the downtown community because they were odd and outlandish. Cucalorus commissions an artist each year to create a performance or site-specific installation at the festival that honors the legacy of Blue Velvet. Isabella Rossellini performed her one woman show Darwin’s Smile as last year’s Bus to Lumberton artist.
Another icon of the Blue Velvet legacy is the severed human ear that young Jeffrey finds while wandering through a field in the beginning scenes of the film. This strikingly realistic human ear was brought to life by makeup effects artist Jeff Goodwin, whose career was launched by his work on Blue Velvet. Goodwin has since then gone on to work in both TV and film – including Sleeping with the Enemy, JFK, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Scream 5. We are happy to announce that Goodwin will be in attendance for the upcoming screening of Blue Velvet, participating in a Q&A and discussion following the film. And yes, he will have the famous ear with him.
For more details on how you can attend this very special Azalea Festival edition of our Friday Night Films series, visit our website at www.cucalorus.org. Tickets to attend this special screening and afterparty are $20 and can be purchased here. Tickets include one signature cocktail and free hors d’oeuvres.