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Review: Eraserhead

Tuesday 9 September 2008, 13:50

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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David Lynch's transcendentally sublime debut feature is compulsory viewing-and-listening.

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    Comment number 1.

    I watched this film for the first time about 2 years ago and subsequently watched it another 2 or 3 times in a row - in addition, I will be seeking this out at my local arthouse cinema. Why? Because I'm convinced that Lynch is either:

    1) taking the mick out of the world in a career long confidence trick.
    2) Is deadly serious about what he does and has a deeply obscure 'point' buried within his works.

    I'm still not entirely sure which of the two options I agree with (or indeed that they are mutually exclusive).

    What I DO feel certain about is that every single element of every one of his films is entirely intentional and totally deliberate, even if those elements aren't necessarily mutually coherent with each other.

    I think of all his films, this is probably the most confusing and the yet also the most concise - certainly a great deal less of an ordeal to get through than the recent "Inland Empire" was.

    To return to my original point, I think Lynch's work positively demands several viewings to further enhance your appreciation, however true understanding is perhaps permanently deferred.

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    Comment number 2.

    Will this be a nationwide re-release or is it just London village?

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    Comment number 3.

    I'm afraid i fall into the 'baffled' category. The film does have scenes that stay with one forever; particularly the scenes with the chicken and the one with the baby/cow-fetus thing.

    Having said that, I am always suspicious of films that, twenty years later, people are still asking what its about. Perhaps its like a music video where Lynch is just showing off and it actually doesn't have a point.

    For me Lynch's best film is The Straight Story.

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    Comment number 4.

    When I first saw Eraserhead I was completley thrown by it, and I wasn't sure whether I'd just watched something awful, or a work of genius. Subsequent viewings confirmed that it was the former.
    I've always wondered whether maybe the film was just too clever for me and that I'd repeatedly missed the point. Indeed, I think there is much to be said for films that not everyone is able to "get". But if after 30 years nobody has even come close to what the film is about then maybe the problem isn't with the audience, it's with Mr David "overrated-in-the-extreme" Lynch.

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    Comment number 5.

    I hate the fact it's rated 18, it's unsettling but it's there's no violence, no language, no sex, so why not 12? at least for scenes of unsettling nature.

    I need to re-watch it, It's hard to sit though but it's fascinating masterpiece of the bizarre.


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