For Reel


Eraserhead (1977)
July 17, 2017, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: David Lynch
5 Stars
Eraserhead.jpgAs immediate and revolting as many of the images in Eraserhead are, they perhaps wouldn’t carry the same weight as they do without the film’s brilliant sound design. The film is accompanied by a constant roar—whether be it the wind, the industrial machinery, or the radiator—and each wail, step, and even closing of the lips is heightened with an upsetting sharpness. The effect is so maddening that the audience, just as Henry (Jack Nance) does, takes some comfort within the radiator, where Laurel Near hauntingly sings an oddly soothing lullaby (which, of course, happens to be about the release of death). More than just about any other David Lynch film, the protagonist is a figure the audience can identify with—he recognizes the horrors around him, and Lynch never pulls the rug out from underneath the audience in the way that he will in films like Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive. In this way, Eraserhead is oddly a film about a likable everyman in horrifying circumstances, and in that way the film feels as timeless as anything Lynch has done, and yet in its specificity it is wholly of its own world. It is more narratively straight-forward than some admit, and yet it remains a maddening enigma—a work so disarmingly singular that it feels as though it was given to us in a dream.

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Mulholland Dr. (2001)
February 23, 2012, 1:57 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: David Lynch

Given the reputation that it has accumulated over the years as an indecipherable Pandora’s box, it is heartening to recall just how accessible Mulholland Dr. is. Like any great piece of art, over time it seems to further captivate and amuse, its uncompromising tone becoming all the more stirring having grown along with it. Narratively, many people have found things to fret about – mostly the labyrinthine structure in which scenes, which work well enough on their own, don’t necessarily present their importance within the overall plot. Most frustrating to many is the last fourth of the picture in which Lynch deliberately pulls the rug out from underneath the viewer. One has to concede that, ultimately, the proceedings in the plot are not altogether satisfying – when one pieces together what Watts has done and who she is, the reality is naturally not as captivating as the bizarre clichés that make up her dreamscape. To approach the picture in terms of plot, however, is to make a grave mistake. Its pleasures come in Lynch’s ability to captivate and confound, to lull into a sense of security and understanding and then to upend the rules that one had assumed that he would play by. For all of the talk of the obscurity of meaning within the picture, one forgets how damn entertaining it all is.