Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Discussion of Eraserhead

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The giant
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Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby The giant » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:19 pm

As David Lynch has said, "Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie". What do you think is spiritual about it or what do you think is the film's theme?
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yvanehtnioj1214
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Re: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby yvanehtnioj1214 » Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:22 am

Well he did say that he was stuck when he was filming or writing it he opened the Bible and found a part that helped him out a lot. He doesn't say what the specific verse was but the story is in CtBF, if you want to read the non-paraphrased version. I always thought it was interesting that he refers to Eraserhead as his most spiritual film when FWWM has angels in it.

I tend to be one of those annoying people who are hesitant to label any Lynch film with a meaning but the Man in the Planet could represent God and the sperm-shaped things could be sins. I have watched the film with this theory in mind and it does seem like it could make sense. In the beginning of the film, Henry could be confessing his sins to God and at the end God tries to prevent Henry's death (by pulling the apparently malfunctioning levers) but to no avail. Anyway, that's just one theory I've heard that could work, but I'm still hesitant to interpret the film too much.
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The giant
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Re: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby The giant » Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:36 pm

Yeah, I'm always trying to think if the lady in the radiator and man in the planet are good or not. I'm also trying to ponder what the theme of the movie is. The only thing i can think of is that God is like a eraser, he can get rid of all of your sins.
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Re: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby yvanehtnioj1214 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:40 am

Or it could be that Henry really wants to erase his sins which is why he (possibly) kills himself in the end. I always thought the baby looked a lot like the sperm-things, so maybe the baby is the ultimate sin but in order to kill it he has to kill himself.

As to whether the Lady in the Radiator is good or bad, I also don't know. I also thought she looked like an anthropomorphic sperm-thing as well, so maybe that's something to think about. Maybe there is a reason why the Man in the Planet is ugly and the Lady in the Radiator is, well, kind of less ugly. Anyway, they both seem to inhabit different things as evidenced by the "in the" in their names. Could the planet be Heaven since it's "up there" and could the radiator be Hell because it's hot? I hope all this makes sense, I'm kind of just typing out my stream of consciousness here. To me, there are a lot of theories that come to mind when I watch and think about Eraserhead but I can't ever unify them into one coherent interpretation and I don't know if I want to. What do you think?
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The giant
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Re: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby The giant » Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:37 am

Maybe your right. Planets are in the "heavens". But that man in the planet seemed to have burnt skin or some deformed type of skin. Also note that the lady in the radiator was stomping on those sperm looking things. but your theory sounds really convincing to me. I also found some biblical but minor things in the story: when that baby gets sick, it reminds me of Job getting those boils. and when Henry sees those two men fighting in the streets, that reminds me of how much violence is in the bible.
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Re: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby yvanehtnioj1214 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:45 pm

Well, if you subscribe to the theory that the Lady in the Radiator relates to suicide and that the sperm things are sins, then it could be that the LitR is telling Henry that suicide will get rid of all his sins. Maybe in the beginning God is taking his sins, but eventually they just become too much for Henry to deal with, so he wants a way to get rid of them all at once (suicide). It's also interesting that after "In Heaven" Henry touches the LitR and the screen lights up like in the end but then he seems to change his mind and comes back to "reality". The problem I have with the LitR being connected in some way with suicide is that the ending seems somewhat happy and I don't think Lynch would portray suicide as a good way to get rid of all your problems and enter a world of bliss.
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Re: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby The giant » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:51 pm

Well after he embraces the lady in the radiator. his seems to realize something...and then everything goes black. Thats when he realizes he made the wrong choice on my opinion.
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yvanehtnioj1214
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Re: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby yvanehtnioj1214 » Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:35 am

Interesting. Now I'll have a whole new bunch of things to think about next time I watch it, so thanks. Luckily I have the Lime Green Set now, so I'll probably get back to it soon. Before I would just have to wait until the next time it played in a film reparatory theatre.
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The giant
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Re: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby The giant » Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:44 pm

Your welcome. It sounds like torture to wait till the next time it comes on in a theater. Good thing i have the 2000 edition dvd of Eraserhead.
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yvanehtnioj1214
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Re: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby yvanehtnioj1214 » Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:33 pm

The giant wrote:Your welcome. It sounds like torture to wait till the next time it comes on in a theater. Good thing i have the 2000 edition dvd of Eraserhead.


It actually wasn't too bad since I think they released a new film print for the 30th anniversary. I'm pretty sure a lot of indie theaters bought that print and have shown it several times since then. I know the IFC Center has shown it for at least two weekends since the 30th anniversary. Still nice to be able to watch it at will though, and I loved "Stories". This conversation has also made me want to crack open the Bible except I don't have the New Testament since I'm Jewish, so I may be missing out on some references.
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The giant
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Re: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby The giant » Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:51 pm

When that tree bleeds, it does remind of me of something from the new testament.
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Re: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby moviemaker » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:08 am

Try this quote and see if it can be applied to Eraserhead:

"When I was a child I spoke as a child
I understood as a child I thought as a child;
but when I became a man I put away childish things."

A person who destroys the child "metaphorically speaking" in an effort to "mature".

David is consistent. There are always two stories going on. The surface story and to quote Barton Fink, "The life of the mind."

On the right track with "The Man in The Planet" but "The Lady in the Radiator" does not signify suicide. Something else... Hint from David Lynch: "To remove darkness we... "

I'm just saying...
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yvanehtnioj1214
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Re: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby yvanehtnioj1214 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:39 pm

moviemaker wrote: Hint from David Lynch: "To remove darkness we... "


Interesting analysis, but I don't remember this specific quote. Would you mind telling us the rest and where it's from?
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Re: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby moviemaker » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:51 pm

yvanehtnioj1214 wrote:
moviemaker wrote: Hint from David Lynch: "To remove darkness we... "


Interesting analysis, but I don't remember this specific quote. Would you mind telling us the rest and where it's from?


Catching the Big Fish and he mentions it before in other interviews. Not specific to Eraserhead but a general saying of his.
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Re: Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie...

Postby Buck's Student » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:37 am

Forgive me for reviving an old thread.

David always puts something personal into his films, or so it seems. Eraserhead seems to be based on some dream that David had, and the final version is David's own take on it. His mind works differently than most, so I think the film may be a basic concept, but one that viewers cannot grasp.

I don't know that I really have my own interpretation, as I tend to enjoy it for what it is. The life of Henry seems to be impossible, but certain aspects of it ring true. Forced marriage, premature birth, shitty apartment, low wage job, noisy/industrial surroundings, a brief affair with a fellow tenant, and being an outcast... Those things aren't uncommon in America, or the rest of the world.

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