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Friday, May 16, 2008

Eraserhead at the Plaza: The s is effed up

click to enlarge eraser2.jpg

How does one really place Eraserhead into its proper perspective? Film Threat's Phil Hall gamely tries in this review of the DVD version of David Lynch's landmark 1977 film about a man who basically lives in a nightmare world both real and imagined.

Here's a key passage …

It is also hard to view “Eraserhead” again and recognize how strongly it defined Lynch’s career. In many ways, he spent a lifetime trying to top the film’s outrageous surrealism, dark comedy and ability to creep out an audience without actually presenting anything that is truly scary. In many ways, Lynch’s most satisfying films are the one that stray from this formula: “The Elephant Man” (which kept the monochrome of “Eraserhead” but added a humanity which the first film had no place for), “Dune” (an epic sci-fi which will some day be recognized as a neglected classic) and “The Straight Story” (a deceptively simple tale which is arguably among the greatest films of the 1990s).

But as for the rest of the Lynch canon, all I see is a case of trying to top the weirdness of “Eraserhead.” Honestly, nothing comes close. For my money, this was Lynch at his best.

I'm not so sure I'd agree with his conclusion, because works such as Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive clearly show a visionary as obsessed with dreams and nightmares as Hitchcock was with identity.

Eraserhead fans get a chance to take a 30-year look back at Lynch's cult classic when it begins a two-week run at the Plaza Theatre tonight. All I'm saying is, after you see this, don't eat any pizza before bed. No need to make your dreams any creepier than they'll already be.

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