Eraserhead 15

Seduced by Cinema: Peter Strickland and the Scala


Please note: This was screened in June 2019

David Lynch
Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph
85 mins, 1979, USA
Primary language:

A dream of dark and troubling things, don’t miss this rare chance to experience the entrancing atmosphere of one of David Lynch’s most revered cult classics.

Henry (the enigmatic Jack Nance), with his distinctive socket-shock hair and mournful aura, is told that he is the father of a monstrosity after a tryst with girlfriend Mary (Charlotte Stewart). Riddled with anxiety and the stress of a child like no other - that never ceases crying - Mary abandons Henry and the baby, slowly descending into madness. Languishing in the rot and ruin of the city surroundings, Henry’s mind increasingly blurs the lines of reality and escapism, and horrors abound in the mess left in his wake.

Strikingly shot in mesmerising black and white by Frederick Elmes and Herbert Cardwell, Eraserhead was the film a then 16 year old Peter Strickland saw on his very first trip to London’s legendary Scala cinema, sparking the beginnings of a love affair with repertory cinema. A dizzying journey into the surreal, this visionary nocturnal odyssey continues to haunt American cinema like no other. You never know, seeing it on the big screen might just inspire you too.