Thursday, June 7, 2007

Eraserhead (1977)

Directed by David Lynch. Starring Jack Nance.

Lynch's vision is so rich and strange that, when he's on his game, the results are like nothing you've ever seen before. I almost chose his 1986 masterpiece Blue Velvet instead of this, but upon reflection I decided to go with his very first feature, because it's such a completely original work. Shot on the cheap over the course of four years, it tells the story of a young man (Nance) who gets married, looks on as his wife gives birth to then abandons a bizarre baby, and becomes obsessed with a woman who lives inside his radiator (yes, really). Many of Lynch's typical obsessions- the 50s, body parts, musical numbers- are present here, but what sets this film apart from his other work is how he's less beholden to a specific inspiration (such as small-town life or Hollywood), making the film that much harder to pin down, or to forget.

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