Director – David Lynch
Producer – David Lynch, Fred Baker (uncredited)
Writer – David Lynch
Eraserhead is not the sort of film that you see every day. If it was, people would be even more confused than they already are. Eraserhead is a film that follows the daily routine of its main character, Henry Spencer (Jack Nance), a mostly mute, melancholic man who has a stack of hair to rival Marge Simpson herself, and an awkward gait that shows his uncomfortability within his world and in all that he does. And boy, is it an odd world! There are chicken-headed babies and clanking pipes connecting up to the Lady in the Radiator (Laurel Near), who sings an eerie song whilst dancing, as industrial noise erupts around them; and those are the relatively explainable parts. Then there’s the angry girlfriend, Mary X (Charlotte Stewart), who keeps having unusual fits, the Man in the Planet (Jack Fisk), the seductive, elusive neighbour across the hall (Judith Roberts) giving Henry strange glances, and other obscure, irrational happenings. It’s all very peculiar.
The film possesses echoes of German Expressionist cinema and surrealism, but it creates a unique landscape of its own. It is probably the nearest thing to a dream that has ever been captured on film, but it’s by no means a pleasant dream. It is our daily lives dissected and reconstituted into vicious visual representations. To say that it is just art is to understate just how original it is. It’s an unsettling masterpiece.
Sing along now!