Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Movie Miscellany - Eraserhead

Oh my, where do I start with this one.  Well, I'll say don't watch this movie if you're pregnant, and don't watch this movie right before you go to bed.  And you might want to prepare a unicorn chaser in advance.  To mitigate some of disconcertion this movie leaves you with may in fact be one of the only times I would recommend watching Disney. 

Don't get me wrong, it's a really excellent movie, but it definitely falls into the category of WTF, I don't even know what to do with this.  You might also call it a movie that is really good, but I'm not sure I like it, and I probably won't feel the need to see it again for a couple years.  It gives the kind of feeling evoked when watching something really aesthetically beautiful and simultaneously utterly disturbing.  If you've seen Un chien andalou you'll know that feeling well. 

My favorite part of the film is the cinematography - it is really, really beautifully shot.  And wow does it do a great job of portraying loneliness and isolation.  This is not a peaceful solitude that comes from being in a quiet forest in the winter snow type thing.  There are people around, machines are being run, but their operators are invisible, no one is outside, it is a very empty world.  Absolutely not the kind of future I want to live in.

Some of the events that take place is what leaves you all unsettled.  Which is probably the point.  I might also be as weirded out as I am because I was so unprepared for it.  I came in with the expectation of a Dune-esque post-apocalyptic tale, and this is way more horror than sci-fi.  And each scene just one-ups the next as far as weirdness goes.  I do like the internal conflict it provokes though, as it prompts some reflection on the part of the viewer. 

All in all, well done Mr. Lynch.  Thirty years later and this film still creeps. me. out.  I mean, Alien still makes me jump 30 years later, but it had a multi-million dollar budget to work with.  Eraserhead did that with $20K.  Again, well done I say, on all accounts. 

Anyway, I will step aside from all the serious business and vague descriptors to call shenanigans.  On their hair.  In a dystopic future where electricity barely works, no one is making a hair product that will get their coifs to stay like that.  This stuff is like aqua-net on steroids - Henry's hair stays perfect even after the restless nights of sleep. 

Well, I guess I could concede the possibility that whatever toxic chemicals in the environment that  caused Henry and Mary's genetic material to mutate so horrifically also keeps their hair in place.  No wait, actually I'm going to call shenanigans on the whole thing.  Women's bodies are very effective at detecting when something goes wrong, and deformities of this magnitude would never pass the miscarry trigger.

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