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Eraserhead (1977).

February 29, 2008

The Scoop:
Today is Leap Day, an oddity and trick of the calendar. So it seems only appropriate to mark it with a cinematic oddity.

“Eraserhead,” David Lynch’s first feature-length film, is a bizarre cornucopia of visual and audial treats. And while it may seem amateurish in comparison to his later work, many of the familiar Lynch themes are evident at this early stage, along with his usual indebtedness to Luis Buñuel and the other early surrealist filmmakers.

Lynch stalwart Jack Nance is the title character, a loser who wanders around a bleak urban landscape caring for a deformed baby (the product of an unwanted pregnancy), abandoned by his girlfriend and having weird dreams. Mostly, though, it is a completely indescribable (albeit fascinating and slightly disturbing) film that plays like a waking nightmare.

Along with “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” this was one of the pioneering midnight movies of the ’70s and a unique viewing experience. If you’ve never seen it before, nothing can really prepare you for it, except maybe a spirit of adventure. But don’t rely on me to tell you about it — just go see it yourself.

Best Bit:
The dancing woman stomping bits of organic-like… stuff.

Side Note:
The film was shot off and on over the course of five years. Nance kept his character’s bizarre haircut the entire time.

Companion Viewing:
“The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1919), “Un Chien Andalou” (1928) and “Pi” (1998).

The City of Absurdity.

Take a Look:
The trailer:

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