Local cinema here just started a retrospective of work by David Lynch and I wanted to explore more of his work, absolutely unaware what am I getting myself into. Happy and naive, I took a seat in a cinema hall just to end up being intensely uncomfortable and squirming while this dark surrealistic masterpiece on the screen hypnotised the audience. It was very strange, probably the weirdest movie I have ever seen in my entire life - obviously influenced by 1920s German expressionistic movies but it pushed the envelope even further, so both visually and script-wise this was step into madness. For the start, visually it was pure David Lynch - people grinning at the bottom of the bed, strange dialogues (if any), nightmare visual effects and tattered old furniture just as later we came to expect from his work. Than there is a script - not so much script as series of disconnected scenes with main character Henry living obscure, empty life and somehow ending up having a dinner with girlfriend Mary X whose parents are freaky beyond words. They end up having a baby whose cries drive them crazy but the baby itself is also a nightmare because its not a baby but a monster - clearly, this is some kind of paranoia, fear from sex and parenthood - the baby/alien cries and cries while Henry (now alone, because Mary X has left him) tries to keep the baby alive and sinks into all sorts of visions that include absolutely weird Lady in the Radiator who dances on spermatozoids and many more too creepy to mention here. There is also a beautiful but equally creepy neighbour lady who wiggles herself into his bed (the following sex scene is dark, disturbing and repellent), some completely off-the-wall scenes that include Henry's head bouncing around and eventually the alien/monster/baby explodes and grows until the end of this unbelievably odd movie comes suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving me blinking in the dark.
Strange as it was, it was also very powerful movie - Lynch will later eventually enter the mainstream and create movies with some resemblance of beginning and end, but here he was young and brave so he was clearly burning the screen with youthful energy and enthusiasm. With all my discomfort, I couldn't take my eyes of the screen and was struggling to see something in the dark shadows - usually I love black & white movies but this was genuinely difficult to see. Occasionally I tried to glance at the watch - no luck, cinema was too dark - I even found myself thinking "at least I will never have to go trough this again" - however the most interesting part happened after I left the cinema. Never before had I experienced such disorientation, where it took me good 30 minutes before I could function again - since I have just been subjected to David Lynch movie, everything around me looked creepy and spooky, the emptiness of the streets seriously unnerved me and even occasional cars and passersby freaked me out. So in that sense, "Eraserhead" was powerful but I wouldn't call it happy experience - mainly it felt like being submerged into some strange madness for two hours and I just couldn't wait to get out of the cinema. What a strange, unforgettable evening!