Nobody can deny that Blue Velvet takes place in the same universe as Twin Peaks.
The investigative Jeffrey Beaumont acts exactly like you’d expect of a young Dale Cooper, throwing around the occasional (Tibetan?) rock, and quotes like “There are opportunities in life for gaining knowledge and experience. Sometimes it is necessary to take a risk.” He still prefers Heineken (“Man, I like Heineken”) over coffee (“Damn good coffee”), but that will not last long.
Then there’s the fire and logging trucks a plenty, Mrs. Tremond (actress Frances Bay) who claims to be Jeffrey’s aunt Barbara, and Angelo Badalamenti playing the keys for a Julee Cruise-like Dorothy Vallens. Even the brokerage service used for the movie likely gave David Lynch the idea for the name of the Great Northern Hotel. But the intertextuality is probably most apparent with Blue Velvet’s closing shot of the robin and Twin Peak’s opening shot of the Bewick’s Wren on a branch.
And most recently, there’s the report that even a certain, unusual prop appeared in both of David Lynch’s works. You’d never guess: there was a dismembered ear in Cooper’s dream. Jerry Horne from the Twin Peaks Archive has the scoop:
Lynch asks the crew member to assemble 13 candles and a mound of dirt. Well, this is what he did. Unsatisfied, Lynch asks the crew member to go back out to the truck and find ‘something’ to add to the pile of dirt. Rather confused, he goes to the truck, grabs a few items and returns only to discover that Lynch is still unsatisfied with the items he has brought.
Suddenly, Lynch exclaims, “I know what we need”! Lynch then proceeds to carefully pull from his pocket, the prop severed ear from Blue Velvet (wrapped in plastic) The ear was apparently in his pocket the entire time. With no explanation as to it’s meaning or significance, Lynch very carefully partially submerges the ear into the center of the pile of dirt and the closeup is filmed.
It’s hard to see even though I’ve brightened the screencap below quite a bit, but there’s indeed “something” in the center of that pile of dirt. I never wondered what it was, but now I cannot unsee it ever again. I love you, David Lynch.
The 13 candles shot appears in Cooper’s dream at the end of “Zen, Or The Skill To Catch A Killer” (season 1, episode 3). Click play to watch the exact shot: