David Lynch, 1977
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A perfectly realized vision of hell on earth where there is no comfort to be found in family, love, sex, work, or home… perhaps only in death. The way Lynch unsettles the viewer is masterful, from the constant hum of machinery to the perpetual decay of the city to the incredible design of the “baby” — certainly one of the most horrifying creatures in cinema. And yet despite these depressing and unnerving settings, there remains Lynch’s rich sense of humor, and as nightmarish as Eraserhead is, it’s also very comedic. A supremely impressive film, and the years of work show on the screen.
Eraserhead is Great. I admit, i had no idea what was going on and I thought there was no meaning at all for about 40min. Then I realized the entire world was being seen through the main character's prism of anxiety and fear and the film - all of it - made complete sense. And the re-imagining of our banal world (dating, marriage, having kids) was simply masterful.
I don't care very much about what this movie's actually about. I got the vibe of industrial decay feeding into fears of parenthood or whatever. That's not why I like this movie. I like how this movie looks and how this movie sounds. Let's start with the sound. It's overwhelming. My favorite part of the movie may be those first 15 or so minutes when it's just crazy sonic shit going on. I turned up the speaker and I let all that wash over me. The images are good, too. Lots of things just poking out/emerging from the darkness. It's sharp as hell and effortlessly creepy and intense. I could've done with less talking and more awesomeness but that's just me. I'm surprised so many people like this movie though. It is just cuz of all the weird shit? That's the least interesting part...
Ever heard the expression, "I want to punch this movie in the face"? Well that is how I feel after seeing this. Just none of it made sense and I didn't care whether it did nor not. ... I don't know, Lynch just seemed to throw a bunch of weird stuff together with a paper thin plot and call it a movie. The film takes ten minutes to get to the dialogue, which, at first, I thought might end up being a plus to the film. But then there was not much dialogue the rest of the film either, which is fine if complimented with interesting images that tell the story. Interesting, yes, but the storytelling technique Lynch uses here did absolutely nothing for me. ... I do have to give Lynch props for being so bold and gutsy to make this film. I mean it's his first feature film and this is what he delivers. He experiments in filmmaking and I admire that, but none of it worked for me unfortunately.
Incomprehensible and ugly.
I just don't understand how The Room is considered so bad (sometimes in a good way) and something like Eraserhead is considered a good enough film to make the top 100 list. The acting in The Room is superior to the acting in Eraserhead. The plot of The Room is more coherent than the plot of Eraserhead. Sure, you can say the terribly stilted line delivery and such are intentional parts of the mood, but if you are willing to wave it away here, I just don't understand how you can judge it elsewhere. I guess you can credit Lynch's demented weirdness as a show of virtuosity...this film is certainly more unique, but I've never considered weird for weirdness sake to be a very noble attribute. ... I don't know, I just feel like there is a lot of groupthink going on and the group decided Eraserhead is profound and excellent and something like The Room is terrible and then others feel compelled to share the view and it becomes established as "truth." And for the record, so great was my disgust with this film that I actually bothered to finish it, just so I could sound off from more solid footing.
I like to think of it as critique of nuclear war. The post-apocalyptic world, the mutated baby, the damaged humans. This is what the bomb does to the world. ... Its Lynch's Dr. Strangelove, a great satirical film.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.