The Blue Rose is awaiting a UK and international release date.
The blue rose has long been prominent in literature, film and TV, from Pan’s Labyrinth, where it offered immortality to those who could find and pluck it, to a royal gift in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and a symbol of supernatural mystery, intrigue and investigation in Twin Peaks. Culturally, the blue rose also has significance in many countries, religions and ancient cultures. In Judaism, it symbolises the impossible, while in Chinese folklore, it represents the story of a powerful Emporer who had a beautiful but unmarried daughter. Meanwhile, In Japan, the blue rose symbolises “a dream come true.” A Cobalt thread runs through all these depictions and meanings, the ethereal, and that’s an excellent place to start when discussing eighteen-year-old George Baron’s fascinating directorial debut, The Blue Rose.
In a recent interview with Clout Communications, Baron said of his film, “I always had these far-fetched ideas and surreal stories that I thought were just things that interested me and no one else, and then I saw Blue Velvet for the first time, and I was like “Oh my god, there’s a market for this!” It’s evident throughout The Blue Rose that Baron admires and loves the work of David Lynch; there are echoes of Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Dr. scattered throughout his pastel-noir. However, while the influence of Lynch underpins The Blue Rose, the movie is also a love letter to Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock and Georges Franju as it plays with concepts of time, place, identity and escape. It is a story about masks, the void between reality and dreams and the parts of ourselves we attempt to keep buried from sight.
In a colourful 1950s-inspired world of dazzling dresses, cherry pie and pastel colours, two young detectives (George Baron and Olivia Scott Welch) pick up the case of a fatal stabbing of a violent husband and his wife’s subsequent disappearance. We already know she killed him with the knife she used to cut up his freshly baked pies daily, so this isn’t a straightforward whodunnit. Instead, it’s a journey into the minds of both our detectives and the twisted and unconventional reality surrounding them. Are our young detectives alive or dead? Is this a dream within a dream? Or is The Blue Rose an intoxicating liquor that takes us on a drug-fuelled trip into the nature of self and identity? Baron never seeks to answer all these questions, leaving the audience to decide.
From the blue rose to the blue triangle that marks the doors of the houses our young detectives visit, Baron’s film is packed with historical and symbolic clues as to the meaning behind this ocean-deep debut. For example, while many people will be aware of the pink triangle and its role in labelling LGBTQ+ people for persecution, torture and murder in Nazi-occupied Europe, many may be less aware of the meaning behind the blue triangle. The blue triangle was used to label emigrants and foreign forced labour, themes that ripple through several scenes in Baron’s film as it delicately explores themes of racial oppression. Equally fascinating are Baron’s discussions on gender identity, the internal and external oppression of one’s true self, and the diversity of identity. Here, the triangle represents three perfectly formed sides that find meaning in many religions and beliefs, from representations of mind, body and spirit to earth, sea and sky and birth, growth and death. Of course, it’s possible that none of this symbolism occurred to Baron in creating his movie, but the fact that so many ideas and discussions can be drawn from The Blue Rose indicates the level of artistic flair on display.
In The Blue Rose, Baron creates a unique and fascinating enigma of a film, announcing his arrival with a cobalt blaze of creativity that wears its unconventional and obscure badge with pride. Baron is fearless in testing his audience, asking them to unpick the barrage of ideas he offers us on screen. For this reason, The Blue Rose isn’t going to appeal to everyone. But whatever your thoughts as the credits roll, this incredibly impressive debut creates conversation, debate and artistic discussion, and that, my friends, is one of the foundation stones of cinema. At just eighteen years of age, George Baron is only just finding his cinematic voice, and if The Blue Rose is anything to go by, it’s a voice that will only grow in strength over the coming years.
THE WEIRD KIDZ
The Blue Rose isn’t going to appeal to everyone. But whatever your thoughts as the credits roll, this incredibly impressive debut creates conversation, debate and artistic discussion, and that, my friends, is one of the foundation stones of cinema. At eighteen, George Baron is only just finding his cinematic voice, and if The Blue Rose is anything to go by, it’s a voice that will only grow in strength over the coming years.