David Lynch is considered a master of the surreal and pushes boundaries with his works. In “Eraserhead” he takes inner despair and horrifying visions to the pictorial level – and makes them all too tangible. A recommendation from our author Monta Alaine.
With movies like “Lost Highway” and “Mulholland Drive” that have entertained movie fans for decades and always left them perplexed, David Lynch has made a name for himself as an author-filmmaker in the spirit of surrealism. His work was so preoccupied at the time that I included it in my master’s thesis.
“Surreal Storytelling by David Lynch” at Amazon*
His first work “Eraserhead” from 1977 is undoubtedly in the tradition of surrealist cinema à la Luis Buñuel, who created the surrealist classic “An Andalusian Dog” in 1929 with Salvador Dalí. “Eraserhead” is not inferior to this in the dark, is disturbing like no other film and is at the same time a masterpiece that has established itself as a timeless work of art in its uniqueness and influence on cinema.
You can stream “Eraserhead” on Amazon‘s Arthaus+ channel, with a seven-day free trial:
“Eraserhead” on Arthaus+ at Amazon*
That’s what “Eraserhead” is about
Henry Spencer (Jack Nance), a man with a strange haircut, lives on in a dystopian-looking industrial city. Shortly after beginning his relationship with Mary X (Charlotte Stewart), he had a baby with her – who, however, was oddly deformed and rattling and more reminiscent of a monster. Plagued by disturbing visions and strange nightmares, he tries to cope with the new situation.
Horrifying visions come true
With “Eraserhead”, Lynch already anticipates what he would later continue in “Lost Highway” or in “Inland Empire”: he elevates the inside to the level of the image, what is felt becomes real horror. However, “Eraserhead” is much more than a horror film: it goes deeper and touches on themes such as loneliness, isolation, sexuality and the horrors of growing up. It is a meditation on human life and human consciousnessconveyed through a surreal and painfully detailed vision.
The experience that the viewer is witnessing is no less distracting and makes you feel more and more uncomfortable while watching: Moving and gravy (blood?) spewing roast chicken, a pimple-covered, slimy baby monster, a blonde with deformed hamster cheeks who performs on a stage behind his heater.
Dense atmosphere between horror and emotion
The standout feature of “Eraserhead” is the film’s visual and acoustic design. Lynch uses extremely long shots and intense sound effects to create a unique, to create a disturbing and incredibly dense atmosphere that can only captivate – and you must first be able to tolerate the recurring and persistent silence. The film’s black-and-white aesthetic enhances the eerie and surreal nature of the story and is nothing short of timeless.
If you want to experience the movie in 4K, you can get it on Blu-ray. Here you can also enjoy six short films introduced by David Lynch in the bonus material.
“Eraserhead” Blu-ray at Amazon*
Eraserhead is an important contributor to film history and has inspired many other filmmakers. Lynch has pushed the boundaries of storytelling developed a new kind of narrative structure that revolves around the emotional experience of the characters. The use of visual and audio elements to achieve a deeper level of cinematography later influenced many filmmakers such as Stanley Kubrick, David Cronenberg and Lars von Trier.
All in all, “Eraserhead” is a must-see movie for surrealist movie lovers and horror movie fans alike. Lynch’s unique vision and his amazing ability to dig deep into the human psyche make this a must-see film that will continue to fascinate and impress even after many years. Eraserhead is a must-read for anyone ready for a surreal, disturbing and unforgettable journey.
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