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Is it a nightmare or an actual view of a post-apocalyptic world? Set in an industrial town in which giant machines are constantly working, spewing smoke, and making noise that is inescapable, Henry Spencer lives in a building that, like all the others, appears to be abandoned. The lights flicker on and off, he has bowls of water in his dresser drawers, and for his only diversion he watches and listens to the Lady in the Radiator sing about finding happiness in heaven. Henry has a girlfriend, Mary X, who has frequent spastic fits. Mary gives birth to Henry's child, a frightening looking mutant, which leads to the injection of all sorts of sexual imagery into the depressive and chaotic mix.
This is where is the Lynchian nightmare began. Though he may have redefined surrealistic cinema in the 1980s and forever altered the face of television in the 90s, for many hardcore fans it is this infamous feature film debut that is David Lynch's crowning achievement. Many words have been used to describe Eraserhead (weird, bizarre, frustrating, enlightening, significant, unwatchable, meaningless, and momentous), but there is no denying it is completely unforgettable. As a surreal work of art, Eraserhead easily holds it own next to the works as Buñuel, Cocteau, and Dali. And like many surrealistic works, there is no clear answer on what Eraserhead "means." But, if you are trying to find a simple, linear, plot in Eraserhead, you are clearly missing the point. For Eraserhead is not simply a movie to view, but a true cinematic experience, like jumping into someone's nightmare and seeing it from their perspective. Whether you see it as a meditation on the terror of being a new parent, the suffocating feeling of living in an increasingly vapid, industrial wasteland, or a nightmare about the fear of loneliness, the film easily holds up to multiple viewings. And since this film is a dark visual ride and a supreme aural achievement, this long awaited, new transfer is an absolute blessing for David Lynch fans who will finally get to see, hear and experience Eraserhead clearly on DVD. Bizarre experiment? Surrealistic nightmare? Or a meaningless cult film? You be the judge. --Rob Bracco
- Full Length Featurette
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Some will not understand it. Some will be confused by it. Some will be disgusted by it. Some will hate it.
But some will get it. And for those people, it will be an experience like no other.
By "get it" I don't mean that people will uncover some hidden meaning in Eraserhead, or will walk away from the movie understanding what took place. By "get it" I mean that some people--like me--will resonate the movie on an emotional level even if their conscious mind can't make heads or tails of it. This movie is a like a dream that you still feel hours after waking even if its images and ideas don't make any sense to your waking mind.
The only thing I've ever experienced that hits that same level of incoherent emotional intensity would probably be the music of early Industrial music acts like Skinny Puppy. Indeed, the movie's immersive soundtrack is reminiscent of some Industrial music, with its washes of white noise, throbbing bass, and heavy atmosphere. Considering that Eraser was released in the same year as The Second Annual Report of Throbbing Gristle, the album that invented Industrial music, there may be a hidden lineage between this movie and early Industrial acts.
Much like Throbbing Gristle, this movie isn't necessarily a pleasant experience, but it becomes all the more powerful for it's horrific imagery, which is so memorable it will probably be with you the rest of your life. The movie is not a gore-fest or anything so straightforward: it's much more powerful than that. The ending was so visually and emotionally intense that I was staring at my screen, slack jawed and shaking, all throughout the credits and for several minutes afterward. No movie has ever affected me even half as much.
You have to be in a certain mindset to watch and enjoy this movie. It helped define the "midnight movie" phenomenon, and I can see why: even if you just watch it on a laptop, I highly recommend watching it at midnight. If you do, prepare for one of the most intriguing movies you're likely to ever see.
in this Blu Ray. I will not go into the film it's self, other reviewers have already done a nice job.
But, there are several prints of this film avalible, which makes it hard to choose which one is best.
Be aware that Criterion is releasing a new digital restoration in Blu Ray in September 2014.
I have mine on preorder.
We will just have to wait and see if the new Criterion version is any better then this Blu Ray.
So, if you want to buy this disk, you would be well advised to wait until September, when the restoration
hits the market.
I am sure I have bought this film at least 4 times, as formats improve over time.
The film it's self is very dark in saturation, and you cant see some of the details.
This was also the case in the theater when I first saw it at the AFI (Washington, DC), when I was a member.
No one had seen the film, and Mr. Lynch was supposed to have been there to introduce the film, but he
didnt show up. It was his actual final work print that was screened that evening.
The Blu Ray edition fixes the black saturation so more details are finally visible.
I am wondering what other details I havent seen yet may be revieled in Criterion's new
I am keeping my fingers crossed, I really dont want to keep buying this film hoping to find