Eraserhead d. David Lynch, 1977
All the symbolic readings I've encountered - goat-baby as ersatz penis, the human world as thrall to the mechanical, etc. - bore me, and I'm at a loss to come up with my own logical interpretation. Still, I find myself positively haunted by this film. This goes back - sorta - to what I wrote about Syndromes and a Century, only the privileging of the affective over the logical is far more persuasive here. I found the first hour of the movie revolting, disgusting; the images were sickening; I literally had to stop eating my lunch. (Lesson learned: pay attention to the movie and put away the sandwich.) But when the boy picks up Henry's head and runs to the pencil/eraser manufacturer, I was stunned. Even moreso when the wood dust returns, swarming around Henry's now recapitated head, swathed in backlight. In these scenes,the grotesque elements of the film coalesce into something...not beautiful, but something terribly a- and effective. I need another viewing, preferably on the big screen, but I'm mostly sold for now. Nowhere near the heights of Mulholland Dr. and INLAND EMPIRE, but it's something.