Sunday, 16 January 2011

Review Of 'Eraser Head'
Fig 1 - Poster Eraserhead
Eraserhead (1977) 

David Lynch’s debut feature seems to be a film similar to ‘Alice in Wonderland’ where the director has literally rolled himself some weed and just gone to town on it. Yet with this film comes a very disturbing and chilling message that protrudes the insanity of the movie and demonstrates it point of view when considering sexual relation.
Fig 2 - Henry's Baby
The synopsis of the story tells of a young male by the name of Henry who tries to survive – what can only be described as an apocalyptic industrial park as well as playing host to a new-born baby and psychotic new girlfriend/wife who can’t withstand the pressure of being a mother.  In conclusion, educating the viewers on Henry’s struggle to be a single parent, in a rough and dangerous world.
 The film itself begins as it intended by supplying the viewer with a metaphor to grab the attention. As what can only be describe as a giant sperm coming from Henry’s mouth and nose dive  in to a crater of liquid (Mary X’s Vagina). Without doubt the confirmation comes at the dining table as the mother explains of the premature birth of Mary X’s child and enquires to whether the sibling is that of Henry’s bastard child. Moreover, due to politics of the era (not that of the movie) Lynch highlights underage pregnancy among those time and that due to this the disadvantage of sex before marriage.  Furthermore Lynch has without doubt ‘left a strong sexual undercurrent combined with the trappings of commitment in relationships. But while there are some stark and shocking moments, they're floating in an undisciplined exercise in experimentation.’ - Almar Haflidason.  Finally, displaying the central theme in, which he intends to educate the viewers of his opinion on - sexual intercourse before marriage.  
Nevertheless his metaphors scream throughout the film, showing the world to be nothing more than a desolate and barren place, which consists of constant problems and strains.Not to mention implying that for the  couple who conceive before marriage as alone and without help. Still the hints become less subtle as the baby presents itself as almost sheep-like as well as make the wife to look like she is suffering from post maternal depression not being able to cope with the constant tending to the baby as the male goes to work. Highlighting Lynch’s opinion further, as well as show a possible implied belief in housewives having to take care and stay home, during the baby first years.  Not to mention showing Henry to become a more psychotic version Jon Dorian from Scrubs hallucinating about the mistake dreaming that he has impregnated her again as the sperm come from the direction of her uterus whilst in bed. Even the simple fact the two additional characters in the hallucinations  (male and female) which are shown to be hidden behind the radiator display the instability of Henry mind as we incorporate the evil looking stereotype of the male with conceiving the child at the begin whilst big cheeked women squashes and the sperm that have fallen down and stop her from doing her show making the whole scene itself uncanny and more relatable to the stereotype of devil on one shoulder and angel on the other scenarios, sticking with his previous point.
Fig 3 - The Head Expoldes and the Baby's Returns
In fairness, Lynch depiction takes the worst possible outcomes from the pre-marriage scenario and throws it in together like a pick and mix of to create this movie. The fact that Mary seems suffer from ‘Post Maternal Depression’ and leaves not to mention Henry who seems to struggles also and in turn has sexual relation with his neighbour suggesting the difficulty of a baby and the psychological affects it has on you. Not to mention showing the threatening ability it has on your dating life as his neighbour sees the baby and basically runs for the hills. Naturally Lynch uses this to really push opinion out and make use sit back and look at the true ethnic problems with pre marriage child birth and yet ‘what emerges most clearly from the film, post-Twin Peaks, is the offbeat humour. The old black comedy is still there — Henry's crazy in-laws and their nervous tics, the mini-chickens which come alive on the plate, the final infant apocalypse — but it is now boxed in by a more insistent tone of uncanny menace which surely amounts to a put-on. Think of the smiley lady-behind-the-radiator stomping the foetal worms which are ruining her act, or the creepy, echoey sound-effects, or Nance's puzzled reaction shots — they are like that moment of blankness which precedes a surprise party. Except, with Lynch, the blankness goes on forever and the party never happens.’ - Steve Beard. I turn overshadowing in parts his opinion with humour and becoming it’s disadvantage.
Fig 4 - Henry's Head On The Floor
Nevertheless the final straw for Henry comes when his neighbour appears with a new play mate so much so that he recognises that the child had scared away his new fling and would continue to do so in respect his final hallucination of his head popping off and being made of rubber  strength his mulling over the whole scenario and show and insane view of himself wanting to erase his mistakes of having a child making the film name quite apt in some respects. Furthermore the name itself could be a slight euphemism for a condom as the eraser is made from rubber and the cockney slang for such is a rubber Johnny. In turn Lynch’s depiction at this point suggest that the insanity of having a baby and dedicates it time to suggesting that any bastard child are no doubt conceived and thought of as a mistake. This supported when Henry sanity loses out and he kills the baby and as a result we sees the slaughter and yet when it happen we find ourselves holding back the BLT we had for  lunch as the corpses dispenses with what can only be described  as a ‘mucus’ substance.  Finally showing Lynch’s  main opinion and policy through the ‘black-and-white world of “Eraserhead”’ as it ‘disturbs, seduces and even shocks with images that are alternately discomforting, even physically off-putting, and characterized by what André Breton called convulsive beauty’ - MANOHLA DARGIS.
Fig 5 - Insanity - Grandmother Figure Is Helped To Be Helped
In conclusion representing the 1970’s belief of bastard children and what they are born into. No doubt being controversial it dedication however to prove this point especially after the decade of full blown peace and love definitely depicts the necessity to restore order from the all chaos. In turn Lynch’s film became a cult classic as it message is that of the educate those on the darker side of sexual intercourse and the implication it would have on your life.

 List Of illustrations

 Fig 1 Lynch, David (1977) Poster Of Eraserhead
[Film Poster] From: Eraserhead

 Fig 2 Lynch, David (1977)  Henry's Baby
[Film Still] From: Eraserhead 
 Fig 3 Lynch, David (1977)  The Head Expoldes and the Baby's Returns
[Film Still] From: Eraserhead 

Fig 4 Lynch, David (1977)   Henry's Head On The Floor
[Film Still] From: Eraserhead
Fig 5 Lynch David (1977) Grandmother Figure Is Helped To Be Helped 
[Film Still] From:  Eraserhead 
(Accessed on16.01.11)

(Accessed on16.01.11)

Dargis, Manohla.(2007)Erazerhead
 (Accessed on16.01.11)

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