For the 15th Movie Roundtable here at TMR we welcome back our good friends Frank Johnson, Antony Rotunno and Mark Campbell for another four-way discussion, this time on David Lynch's cult surrealist "horror" film Eraserhead from 1977.
Or is that perhaps not quite right? Each of us in the discussion loves the film Eraserhead (for various reasons), but I don't think any of us finds it exactly horrifying. Certainly, my reaction is more one of bemusement plus amusement, and the feeling that I'm a fly on the wall inside someone else's nightmare. So perhaps it would be better (for me) to call Eraserhead a "cult surrealist dark comedy nightmare film"? Or maybe that's not quite right either. Perhaps: a "cult surrealist nightmare-that-is-somehow-also-dark-comedy-without-ceasing-to-be-a-nightmare film"? That works for me, but I'd be just as happy to say that this film—which seems as strange today as when it first came out back in 1977—simply defies description.
Join us as we discuss the film's production, ponder its meaning(s)—or lack thereof (?)—and consider what this "dream of dark and troubling things” might have to "say" to us today.
[David Lynch, Jack Nance, Catherine Coulson, Alan Splet, Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Mulholland Drive, Twin Peaks, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L Frank Baum, Fats Waller, Mel Brooks, surrealism, dream, art, Luis Buñuel, L'Age d'Or, Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, David Cronenberg]