Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Eraserhead (1977)



Eraserhead is an american surrealist-horror film written and directed by David Lynch, and released in 1977. In 1971, Lynch moved to Los Angeles to study for an MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) degree at the AFI Conservatory. At the Conservatory, Lynch began working on his first feature-length film, Eraserhead, using a $10,000 grant from the AFI. The grant did not provide enough money to complete the film and, due to lack of a sufficient budget, Eraserhead was filmed intermittently until its release in 1977. Lynch used money from friends and family, including boyhood friend Jack Fisk, a production designer and the husband of actress Sissy Spacek, and even took a paper route to finish it. The film stars Jack Nance and Charlotte Stewart. Eraserhead polarized and baffled many critics and movie-goers, but has become a cult classic. In 2004, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. Lynch has called it a "dream of dark and troubling things" and his "most spiritual movie." Is it a nightmare or an actual view of a post-apocalyptic world? Set in an industrial town in which giant machines are constantly working, spewing smoke, and making noise that is inescapable, Henry Spencer lives in a building that, like all the others, appears to be abandoned. The lights flicker on and off, he has bowls of water in his dresser drawers, and for his only diversion he watches and listens to the Lady in the Radiator sing about finding happiness in heaven. Henry has a girlfriend, Mary X, who has frequent spastic fits. Mary gives birth to Henry’s child, a frightening looking mutant, which leads to the injection of all sorts of sexual imagery into the depressive and chaotic mix.

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