Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 32: Wednesday Feb 1

Eraserhead (Lynch, 1976): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 8.10pm

Eraserhead begins the David Lynch season at the BFI and takes me back to an era before video, DVD and social media when print and word-of-mouth were the main forms of communication where a film was concerned. Lynch's debut was a must-see back in the late 1970s and it was fitting that the movie had its premiere at a midnight screening at the Cinema Village in New York as the midnight-movie circuit was responsible for popularising this indefinable work.

Eraserhead is a seminal work in the history of independent film and is as much a must-see now for anyone interested in what film can achieve as it was when first released. Here is an extract, highlighting Lynch's innovative use of sound.

There's a bonus tonight as Lynch's early shorts The Grandmother (1970, 34min), The Amputee (1973, 5min) and The Alphabet (1968, 4min) will also be included.

Chicago Reader review:

'David Lynch describes his first feature (1977) as “a dream of dark and troubling things,” and that's about as close as anyone could get to the essence of this obdurate blend of nightmare imagery, Grand Guignol, and camp humor. Some of it is disturbing, some of it is embarrassingly flat, but all of it shows a degree of technical accomplishment far beyond anything else on the midnight-show circuit. With Jack Nance and Charlotte Stewart.' Dave Kehr

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