Eraserhead 1977 - Question your own sanity
Trying to analyse this film and give it meaning is almost impossible to achieve.
Lynch is known for creating his films in a somewhat half-asleep state, resulting to surreal movies that seems to only get its meaning when seen through a dream.
Explaining the plot of Eraserhead is a daunting task, because watching it, the movie itself is unsure if it has a plot. By my own opinion, the movie’s “plot” is like bits and pieces of thoughts or consciousness that the lead character, Henry, has. It may or may not be connected to each other.
I watched the movie knowing nothing except that it was regarded as a famous horror flick, and after the movie was done I had this strange feeling that I still know nothing.
With the help of some other people’s ideas, I saw in the movie what it was trying to point out. It’s basically a movie about fear of parenthood, unwanted babies, unsafe sex, sex, suicides - only that it’s basically blown out of proportion.
There’s so many things in the film that’ll confuse you: why does the father smile like that? Why does the girl’s face in the radiator all swollen? Why is Henry’s hair all raised up? And many, many, many more, and I’m not even going to try to answer these questions myself. The movie at first glance looks like a huge ball of symbolisms and metaphors. Maybe yes, maybe it all doesn’t really need to have a meaning, that what it’s supposed to be is how it seems: irrational. But of course everything is the way it is because of some form of logic Lynch thought of.
Weirdly enough, out of all the imagery that flashed before my eyes the one thing that got stuck in my memory after the movie ended was Henry’s seemingly unchanged expression. All throughout the movie, he seems to be wearing this anxious or scared look upon his face, that even after they chopped his head off, the decapitated head still wears a fearful look. In my own opinion, I think that expression explains the whole journey. Well first, the movie, I think, is basically like a trip down Henry’s conscious and subconscious mind, meaning it’s his head we’re watching, and so Henry’s ever-so-scared expression states Henry’s dilemma and emotions: his fear and anxiety towards his unexpected fatherhood, and maybe even sexual frustrations.
It was like watching Un Chien Andalou all over again. Everything seems to make no sense.
It’s a movie that would entertain you but would mean nothing at all if you just watch it at a “relaxed state”. So unless you watch it like a badass scholar or philosopher, then the whole thing will make sense, or at least somehow.