105 Must See Films

105 Must See Movies: Eraserhead (1977)


Starring: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph, Jeanne Bates

Director: David Lynch

Black and white masterpiece from the man that would later bring us odd gems like Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive, this is David Lynch.

Although there can be much debate about what this film is about thematically, narratively, the film follows Henry (Nance) as he navigates his life, finding himself married off and saddled with a mutant child in a cold, industrial world. Although critics generally point out that asking what the film is about it kind of beside the point, Lynch himself has called it “a dream of dark and troubling things.”

Sometimes disturbing, eerie or humorous, it’s a strange film that I think you’ll either love or hate, but it certainly has it’s own magic.

It’s A Must See Because: The film is Lynch’s first feature, and garnered a cult following that launched his career. It’s one of those films that you’ll find showing in cinemas as a late night screening, there’s just something about it, and there’s certainly nothing else like it.

I love the determination that went into making this film, which Lynch shot and edited over five years. It’s not something that you cold pitch to a studio or that’s even easy to sum up. And it’s certainly not your average summer tent-pole film. But although horrifying and grotesque, it’s also refreshing, in it’s daring, creativity and the way it pushes the boat out. There’s definitely a linear narrative, and yet it’s not so easy to define exactly what it is and what it all means, and there’s something fun about that for me, about asking people what they got from it and what they think it’s all about.

And it also has that lady living in the radiator…

See It If: if you love surrealistic films, have never seen a David Lynch film before, or you love Art House. Those who want more conventional narratives might prefer Lynch’s The Elephant Man.


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