ERASERHEAD CRITERION COLLECTION BLU RAY REVIEW

David Lynch work has no greater compliment then to have coined its own word, ‘Lynchian’. The word means ‘in the style or containing the characteristics of the works of David Keith Lynch.’ With ERASERHEAD you are experiencing the birth pangs of his narrative style, surrealist content and use of cinema form. Funded by the AFI Center for Advanced Film Studies, where Lynch was studying. He was given the run of the place and its facility became the sets of the film. From stables to mansions, they were the buildings to house Lynch’s creation.

Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) lives in a dream. He has visions of giant sperm, floats in a planet like earth and traverses an industrial city, groceries in hand.  Mary X (Charlotte Stewart), his girlfriend has invited him to dinner with her family. Spencer leaves his groceries in his apartment, a place of nightmares. That night, Spencer is uncomfortable talking to her mother and father Bill (Allen Joseph). His desires have concocted a nightmare but also fatherhood awaits.

In 1977 STAR WARS hit the jugular of cinema and today we still feel its force (no pun intended). But in 1977 ERASERHEAD appeared. The midnight movie phenomena gave it an audience and so the birth of one of the most compelling and alternative discourses in fatherhood was launched.  Lynch can prove a hard force to contend with. His films become like indecipherable codes. Piling one image and thematic dissolve after another. However this (alongside THE ELEPHANT MAN and MULHOLLAND DRIVE) is an easy way to enter his world. It contains the essence of his mind but without the later overarching noise. It is a journey on which every budding film theorist, fan, writer, producer and director, must travel. If not to see how creativity can be shepherded.

DISC

The release carries the very good 4K restoration of the film. Lynch kept an eye on it and as such it has really benefited. The film has a few horrid versions floating around on You tube and other streaming services. Here it has texture, depth of field and clarity. All missing from the other platforms releases.

EXTRAS

You come to this as a fan, then you want to head to 2K digital restorations of six short films. These are mostly his foundation stuff, available in dull versions but now renewed, almost. Premonitions Following an Evil Deed (1995) looks the best by a mile and is also the most consumerable for a current audience that have a certain expectation of the work from Lynch. If you are new and like the film then “Eraserhead” Stories. This is a personal commentary about the making. Lynch talks and talks with range and thought, sometimes rare. Post the death of Nance but it delves into the films meanings as well as the AFI as an entitiy.

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director David Lynch, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack
  • “Eraserhead” Stories, a 2001 documentary by Lynch on the making of the film
  • New 2K digital restorations of six short films by Lynch: Six Men Getting Sick (1967), The Alphabet (1968), The Grandmother (1970), The Amputee, Version 1 and Version 2 (1974), and Premonitions Following an Evil Deed (1995), all with video introductions by Lynch
  • Documentary from 2014 featuring interviews with actors Charlotte Stewart and Judith Roberts, assistant to the director Catherine Coulson, and cinematographer Frederick Elmes
  • Archival interviews with Lynch and members of the cast and crew
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an interview with Lynch from filmmaker and writer Chris Rodley’s 1997 book Lynch on Lynch

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