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Eraserhead: A Gnostic Anti-Sex Film
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David Lynch’s first movie Eraserhead (1977) combines surrealism, low-budget horror, and black comedy. It rapidly became a staple of the midnight movie circuit and provided endless fodder for coffee-house intellectuals and academic film theorists.

Eraserhead is quite simply a gnostic anti-sex film. The film is premised on a gnostic dualism, which holds that the material world—including sex and childbearing—is fundamentally evil, a prison in which the spirit suffers. The solution to suffering is to free ourselves from the trammels of matter, including sexual desire.

Eraserhead was filmed intermittently, on a shoestring budget, over a period of five years (1972–1977). Although the meaning of the film is self-contained, it is illuminated by some details in Lynch’s biography.

For instance, beginning in 1973, Lynch began his lifetime engagement with Hinduism and Transcendental Meditation. He has reportedly described Eraserhead as his most “spiritual” work.

From 1966 to 1970, while studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia, Lynch lived in a hellish urban environment like the one seen in Eraserhead.

In 1968, Lynch’s first child, Jennifer, was born while he was still in art school. The pregnancy was unplanned, and Jennifer was born with severely clubbed feat, which required extensive corrective surgeries.

In 1974, Lynch’s marriage broke up, due in part to his infidelity.

Eraserhead opens with a planet in space. Then the sideways face of the main character, Henry Spencer (Jack Nance), floats up from the bottom of the screen in front of the planet (which can be seen through him) and drifts out of the frame. A throbbing sound grows louder and louder as we zoom in on the rough surface of the planet. Then we follow a trench until the screen is utterly dark. Next we see a metal-roofed shack on the surface with a huge hole in its roof. We enter the hole. Inside, we see a man with horribly disfigured skin seated in front of levers. In the background is a cracked and broken window.

We then cut to Henry’s face. His mouth opens, and what looks like a hypertrophied sperm cell comes out. Then the Man in the Planet pulls a lever, and the sperm whooshes out of the frame. Another lever seems to start a huge machine. The camera moves to a pool of water. Then a third lever sends the sperm splashing into the pool. Then we see bubbles and darkness. After that, we move toward a white circle of light, which seems to be glimpsed through a hole in gauze, fringed with hairs or threads. At which point the prologue ends.

The meaning of the prologue becomes clear when we learn a bit later that Henry has fathered a baby with his estranged girlfriend Mary—or at least a hideously deformed something that they think is a baby. Henry’s head and mouth of course are stand-ins for his penis, from which sperm cells actually emerge. The pool of water into which the sperm falls is Mary’s womb. And the movement from darkness to light is the birth of the baby.

The fact that this process is under the control of the so-called Man in the Planet gives it all a sinister cast. Sex and reproduction are material (the planet is a great hunk of matter, pulled into a spherical shape by the force of gravity), mechanical (produced by a huge machine), and directed by the malevolent will of the Man in the Planet, whose deformities emphasize his materiality and who is a kind of Gnostic Demiurge figure, imprisoning the spirit in matter.

After the prologue, we see Henry’s face, looking back over his shoulder anxiously, as if he is being stalked. He is dressed in a suit with a pocket protector. His hair is teased up in a huge bouffant. He carries a brown paper bag through an industrial hellhole back to his tiny apartment. Before he enters, a beautiful brunette emerges from the apartment across the hall. The brunette is a temptress figure, who in this scene calls to mind Franz von Stuck’s Sin. The brunette tells Henry that someone named Mary called to invite him to dinner at her parents’ house. After an awkward silence, he thanks the woman and goes inside.

The next scene, dinner at Mary’s house, is the dark comic high point of the film. The scene begins with Mary’s worried face peering out of the window of her house, which is set in an industrial hellscape with a front yard filled with dead flowers. Like Henry’s apartment, the interior is drab and depressing. There are grass clippings here, too.

Henry’s meeting with Mary’s parents is filled with excruciatingly awkward silences, during which we hear constant mechanical rumbling and hissing, as well as the loud sucking sounds of a litter of nursing puppies. Both Mary and her mother have spastic episodes. Mary’s father Bill has a loud voice, a benumbed arm, and a demented grin frozen on his face. The less said about the chicken, the better.

Then an electrical socket begins sparking and a lamp glows brightly, then burns out, which in Lynch’s cinematic language signifies the presence of the supernatural. The mother then confronts Henry with a very awkward question: “Did you and Mary have sexual intercourse?” The question is followed by some intensely awkward nuzzling from the mother.

The reason she asks is that Mary has had some sort of . . . baby. Mary questions whether it is a baby at all, but the mother insists that it is a baby, a bit premature perhaps, but a baby. She also insists that Henry and Mary get married and raise the child. Henry takes the news by getting a nosebleed. All told, dinner could have gone better.

The next scene takes place a short time later. Henry and Mary are apparently married and living together with the “baby” in Henry’s little room. The “baby” is a grotesque creature. It looks more like a fetal puppy than a human being. Basically, it is a hypertrophied sperm cell with eyes and a mouth. Its body is hidden in bandages. Apparently it has no arms or legs. Mary is becoming increasingly frustrated feeding the “baby,” which writhes, fusses, and spits out its food.

Henry goes to the lobby to check the mail. He finds a tiny package in his mailbox. Furtively, he ducks out to the street to open it, finding a tiny worm inside. He returns, a hopeful smile forming on his face, and lies down on his bed to soak up this scene of domestic bliss, staring into the hissing radiator. When Henry looks into the radiator, a light shines from inside it and an empty stage appears. Henry is pulled back from his reverie by the baby crying. When Mary asks if there is any mail, Henry lies and says no.

Cut to a dark and stormy night with the baby crying. Henry gets out of bed and places the worm in the tabernacle-like cupboard, which emits a hum that grows louder when Henry opens the doors. Mary lies awake, tense, frustrated, and sleepless, listening to the baby cry. Finally, she loses her cool, leaps out of bed, and screams “Shut up.” Then she dresses and declares she is going back to her parents’ for a good night’s sleep.

ORDER IT NOW

Before she departs, Mary kneels at the foot of the bed, peering between the bars of the metal bedframe like a woman in prison, yanking on the bed, causing it to rock and squeak. Is she pantomiming her imprisonment to the baby and the material realm? Is she having another spastic episode? No, she’s just trying to dislodge her suitcase from under the bed. After Mary departs we see the temptress coming down the hall looking wet, tired, and sultry.

On his own, Henry wonders if the baby is sick and decides to take its temperature. The temperature is normal, but suddenly the baby is covered with vomit and hives. Its breathing is labored. So Henry rigs up a vaporizer. At one point he glances at the tabernacle, then moves toward the door, perhaps to check to see if any new worms have arrived in the mail, but the baby starts crying whenever he tries to leave.

Cut to Henry in bed, at the beginning of another sleepless night. The radiator hisses. We hear metallic grinding. Two metal panels part, and we see the stage in the radiator, footlights coming on one after another. Then the Woman in the Radiator appears. She is blonde and wears a white dress. Her face is disfigured with huge round cheeks whose wrinkled texture makes them look like a scrotum. She begins dancing to the organ music that Henry played earlier on his phonograph. Her manner is girlish and demure.

Then sperm cells begin to fall onto the stage. The Woman in the Radiator regards them with childish excitement, but when the organ music stops, she gleefully squishes one beneath her shoe. The music resumes, then stops, whereupon another sperm is crushed. The wind then howls, and the Woman retreats back into the shadows.

Is the Woman in the Radiator’s girlish and demure behavior just an act put on by a dominatrix who excites fetishists by crushing things underfoot? Perhaps. But if so, this is only a minor element of her role. Instead, I see her as an embodiment of asexuality and innocence, a Vestal Virgin whose purity is guarded by deformity, whose role is to crush and reject the deformed products of Henry’s sexuality. If the Man in the Planet represents bondage to matter and sexuality—which is embodied by the hideous and demanding “baby”—the Woman in the Radiator represents freedom from matter and sexuality, as well as the responsibility of parenthood. If the Man in the Planet is the Demiurge, the Woman in the Radiator is Sophia, the divine spiritual/intellectual principle that allows us to be saved from the bondage of the material realm.

Metaphysically, the realm in the radiator is the opposite of the planet in the prologue. The light is the opposite of the darkness of the planet. The stage suggests a realm of imagination, spirit, and freedom, rather than the planet’s realm of matter, gravity, and mechanical compulsion. The music in the radiator contrasts sharply with the mechanical rattle and hum of the planet. If the radiator is heaven, the planet is hell. These contrasts point to a neat gnostic dualism of matter and spirit, bondage and freedom.

When the Woman in the Radiator fades into the shadows, we see Henry tossing and turning in his bed. He wakes up to find that Mary is back, locked in a deep slumber, her face glistening with sweat. Her teeth are clicking together. She rubs one eye, making a gross squishing sound. She is hogging the bed, and Henry tries to force her onto the other side. Then, in horror, he reaches down and finds a sperm cell in the bed. He throws it against the wall, causing it to explode. Then he finds another and another and another. At this point, it is clear that the sperm are coming out of Mary, that she is writhing in the pangs of labor. This is how the “baby” was brought into the world. Mary’s bed hogging, writhing, sweating, teeth chattering, and eye rubbing—as well as the fact that she is unconscious the whole time—emphasize her corporeality and make it thoroughly revolting.

The sperm cells have been splattered against the wall next to the tabernacle cupboard, whose doors now open to reveal the worm, which springs to life and begins squealing. It retreats into the darkness of the cupboard and then appears to be on the surface of the planet, squealing, writhing, doing somersaults, plunging into one hole and then emerging from another. On its last emergence, its end opens up in a vast, all-devouring maw, not unlike one of the sandworms of Arrakis. Mechanical noises grow louder as we plunge inside and then see Henry—apparently from the point of view of an observer in the planet, perhaps the Man in the Planet himself.

The worm is sensate flesh, deprived of all higher faculties, capable only of cavorting and suffering on the material plane (the planet) where it is imprisoned, without hope of release. But Henry is more than just a worm. He has higher faculties (Sophia) that might just save him. But he’s due for another test, which the Man in the Planet has dispatched. Cue a knock on the door.

The temptress across the hall has locked herself out of her apartment. It’s late. She wants to spend the night at Henry’s. When the baby begins to cry, Henry stifles it, lest the woman be repelled. Then we see Henry and the woman kissing in his bed—not onit, literally in it. They are sinking into a pool of white liquid in the middle of the bed. She sees the horrifying baby out of the corner of her eye, but continues to kiss and sink. In the end, only her wig is visible, floating on the surface of the white pool. Then we have a shot of white paint separating into two distinct white waves that flee one another. This effect was accomplished by sloshing two waves of white paint together, then reversing the film. The unity between the two has been broken. Coitus interruptus? Then the temptress’ face appears, looking into a sharp, narrow beam of light. Then we see the planet, which seems to force her back into darkness. She is, of course, both an instrument of the planet (a temptress) and a victim of it, since she, too, feels desire.

Then the Woman in the Radiator steps forward from the darkness and begins to sing in a lilting, slightly Southern accent:

In Heaven
Everything is fine
In Heaven
Everything is fine
In Heaven
Everything is fine
You got your good things
And I’ve got mine

In Heaven
Everything is fine
In Heaven
Everything is fine
In Heaven
Everything is fine
You got your good thing
And you’ve got mine

In Heaven
Everything is fine

ORDER IT NOW

This is a pretty clear statement of the dualism between the material/sexual/hellish realm represented by the planet and the Man within and the spiritual/asexual/heavenly realm represented by the Woman in the Radiator. Henry then steps onto the stage in the radiator, entering the Woman’s liminal space between hell and heaven—the realm of suffering and the realm of release. They look into one another’s eyes. Smiling, she opens her hands toward him. We heard a loud humming and twice see blinding white light. A glimpse of the stainless void? Then she is gone.

Now we hear the baby crying and, in a flash, see the Man in the Planet. The dead sperm cells blow away. We hear a squeaking sound, and a mound with a dead tree in it is wheeled out onto the stage, an enlarged version of the mound with the dead branch on Henry’s dresser. Henry then steps into what appears to be a witness box, grasping the rail and nervously turning the pipe in its housing. Henry is clearly on trial, torn between the Man in the Planet and the Woman in the Radiator. It’s enough to blow a guy’s head clean off.

So next, Henry’s head blows clean off, while his hands continue to grip and turn the railing. The head of the crying baby emerges from Henry’s neck. Blood begins to pour from the tree and pool up on the floor where Henry’s head has landed. Then his head disappears from the puddle of blood. It falls through the air and lands in an industrial alleyway, where the top of Henry’s skull breaks off. An urchin picks up the head and takes it to a pencil factory. A core sample of Henry’s brain is used to manufacture erasers. A factory worker sharpens a pencil and tests it by drawing, and then erasing, a line. The eraser bits are then just . . . brushed away. It is a bizarre but brilliant image of rampant dehumanization and materialism. Modern man doesn’t just use the whole buffalo. We are the buffalo. Today a man, tomorrow dust in the wind. Eraser dust in the wind.

Fortunately, it was just a terrible dream. Henry awakes and finds the temptress gone. He spends the whole day waiting for her to return. He hears a sound, goes to knock on the temptress’ door, but there is no answer. The baby seems to be laughing at him. Hours pass. He hears the elevator and opens the door. The temptress is there, entering her apartment with a hideous old trick. She looks at Henry disdainfully, seeing his head replaced with the baby’s. Humiliated, Henry shrinks back and closes the door.

Henry feels he has been rejected because of the baby, which fills him with hatred. He goes to the dresser and finds a pair of scissors. He cuts open the baby’s bandages and finds nothing but a pile of entrails. The kid has no body. Obviously, this is not a viable organism. And it is utterly repulsive. And it is ruining Henry’s life. Henry then resolves to kill it, stabbing its pulsating entrails with the scissors. Fluids squirt and then ooze out, followed by enormous amounts of foam. Henry retreats to the other end of his room. The electricity begins surging. Sparks fly out of the sockets. Something uncanny is about to happen. Then we see the head of the baby grown monstrously large, moving around the room, illuminated in the flickering lights. Then everything goes dark, and we hear a thud. Is it the baby? Is it Henry?

Next we see Henry standing in a cloud of eraser dust. (It is the image on the film poster.) Then we see the planet, which explodes. After that, we see the man in the planet, his face in agony, sparks flying from his machinery, which he can no longer control. Finally, the screen is filled with white light as the Woman in the Radiator embraces Henry. Henry has been liberated from the sufferings of the material realm. The end.

But what kind of liberation did Henry achieve? I would argue that it is not liberation through spiritual attainment. Henry has not overcome the desires that cause suffering. He has just killed his baby because it got in the way of satisfying his desire for the temptress across the hall. You can’t get much more sordid than that. Thus I believe Henry’s liberation was achieved simply by death. Hence the cloud of eraser dust, a symbol of the evanescence and ultimate meaninglessness of human life. Henry tried killing the baby, and the baby ended up killing him.

Life is hell. Death is heaven. But there hardly seems to be any sort of moral order governing this arrangement. Heaven certainly does not seem like an appropriate reward for killing one’s child. But maybe heaven isn’t something after death. Maybe it simply is death. And death is simple annihilation, not a passage from one realm to another.

It is hard to escape the conclusion that the message of Eraserhead is pure nihilism, albeit of a spiritual/mystical variety.

It is, however, doubtful that this is David Lynch’s full and final philosophy of life, considering that he ended up fathering four children. When Lynch was in Art School in Philadelphia, his father was so disturbed by some of his artistic experiments that he urged his son not to have children. Just as I’d love to know what Freud’s mother thought about the Oedipus complex, I’d love to know what David Lynch’s kids think about Eraserhead.

(Republished from Counter-Currents Publishing by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Arts/Culture • Tags: Movies 
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  1. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    Hence the cloud of eraser dust, a symbol of the evanescence and ultimate meaninglessness of human life.

    It could be the expression of neuronic power. At every moment, our brain cells are working like spark plugs and emitting lots of neuronic energy. The ending seems a moment of triumph for Henry, a master of his own universe. In a way, every person is a ‘god’ in this sense: He owns the universe as far as HE is concerned. The universe he knows was born with with him, and it will die with him. Henry is a timid character, and his imaginative inner-space was restrained by his beta-male position in real life. But at some point, he reaches a mind-blowing state of awareness — really far out — with his neurons at full blast; he feels as the master of his universe.

    Keep in mind that during this stage of life, Lynch was using lots of drugs, and ERASERHEAD seems to be a drug-induced vision.

    This stuff about gnosticism… that matter is evil. Not sure Lynch was thinking on those terms, but it is an interesting take.
    At any rate, the film might make more sense if we see EVERYTHING as a bio-psycho-drama. Like the first part of MULHOLLAND DR, which is really a fever-dream, ERASERHEAD works with dream logic: a dream within a dream within a dream. So, we are uncertain as to what is real and what is fantastic. Everything is surreal. The disfigured man on the planet is merely a mechanism within Henry.
    The film seems to hover somewhere between biology and consciousness. Now, consciousness is part of biology and the product of biological functions of digesting foodstuff to supply sugars to the brains that activate and maintain consciousness.
    Much of life on Earth is biological but lacks consciousness. Now, much of life has consciousness but only the simplest kind, like with frogs and fish. This kind of consciousness is only useful for basic survive and perpetuation of the species.

    With humans, consciousness has reached such levels of complexity that we are prone to regard it as separate from the body: Humanity has often in terms of mind and body or body and soul.
    But in fact, all of consciousness, soul, and spirituality cannot exist without the body that contains the brains, the neurons of which are activated by biological processes. So, the ‘good’ spirit can never be independent of the ‘evil’ body from which it arises. Gnostics believed in spirituality independent of and pre-existing the material world, but I’m not sure Lynch really thinks so.

    He may be interested in spiritual ideas, but is he really a believer? ERASERHEAD seems to indicate that consciousness isn’t possible without the body and biology. Problem is body is dirty and filthy. The processes that require people to have consciousness also require them to eat and shit. No food, no energy to supply the brains with fuel. And no sex and reproduction, and no continuation of life with future consciousness. It’s like a car drives real smooth for the rider, and if you look into the engines and etc, it’s a machine that oozes with grease and runs on gasoline that produces toxic exhausts. There are some beautiful-romantic-poetic passages in the fever-dream sequences of MULHOLLAND DR, but this vision is fueled by the mind-and-body in a state of psycho-physical breakdown. Like mushrooms sprouting on rotting trees, Diane Selwyn’s ‘artistic’ vision wouldn’t be possible without the decay of her body and soul. So, in some ways, Lynch seems to be indicating that ‘good’ and ‘evil’ or ‘growth’ and ‘decay’ are two sides of the same coin.

    We think of our consciousness as separate from the body, but there would be no mind-consciousness without all the bodily processes. And the ‘world’ of ERASERHEAD is situated in that limbo-zone(what Richard Spencer often refers to as ‘the liminal state’) where crude biology is flaring into consciousness.

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/liminal

    The noun limen refers to the point at which a physiological or psychological effect begins to be produced, and liminal is the adjective used to describe things associated with that point, or threshold, as it is also called.

    The killing of the baby is like dissecting a frog to see what makes it work(or why it is broken). The problem is we cannot know the secret of life and consciousness by cutting an organism open. The deeper secrets of the mechanics of life that leads to consciousness(that can be used for reason, ethics, or spirituality) is beyond the surgical knife, a theme also explored by Bergman, whose PERSONA — a film about tearing off the mask/face to get to the soul but only finding more confusion or mystery — clearly inspired Lynch.

    • Replies: @Anon
  2. It’s a mistake to take Henry’s ‘point of view’ or dream/fantasy to be Lynch’s ‘point of view’. Henry may be a gnostic but I don’t think Lynch is. Isn’t the point of view’ of the movie (disgusted at natural bodily functions, at generativeness more generally) being ‘satirized’ in a sense – with Nature getting its revenge in the end as the ‘baby’ explodes into multiple mini creatures and Henry is forced to face the lady in the radiator – the embodiment of the real feminine as opposed to his pornographic fantasy of the feminine?

  3. I think you’re reading a lot more into this film than what’s actually there.

  4. Disgusting manipulative crap disguised as “art.” Welcome to the modern world.

  5. Anon[129] • Disclaimer says:

    I hope you’ll also talk, Mr Lynch, of the two other masterworks by the other Mr Lynch: Mulholland Drive and… Inland Empire.

    Lynch is one of the very few American directors on the same level with the European, Asian-European (Russian), and Asian (Japanese, South Korean) masters.

  6. Anon[129] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Why does somebody so perceptive, and educated in cinema, post anonymously?
    It was a pleasure to read your thoughts, Anonymous.

    Cinema is an art that thrived in the age where real art was, as a whole, plummeting, and the mediums were more and more used to address the masses (for economic gain or cultural programming, or both).

    You almost never learn of the production story of a film that is real art and not of a “shoestring budget”: those with money only use it for the two ere mentioned purposes, not for art’s sake.
    Then there is the “shortening” of originals as intended by directors… well, cinema is the seventh art, and also, sadly, the panhandling art.

  7. Mr. Ed says:

    Mr. Lynch:

    I think you meant feet, not feat. Ever heard of proof reading?

  8. Anonymous[149] • Disclaimer says:

    I found Eraserhead too weird to get through. It seemed like the product of a disturbed mind.

    I enjoyed some of Lynch’s other movies, but this one was just too depressing for me.

  9. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    I found Eraserhead too weird to get through. It seemed like the product of a disturbed mind.

    Yes, it is a very weird movie… and yet, one could argue that this weirdness is actually a deeper normality. By that, I mean so much of reality is filtered from our conscious perception of the world around us. We associate normality with order and cleanliness, and we do everything possible to live in a neat and tidy world. This is also true on a macro-social scale. We like to think of the nicest parts of the city as representative of what we are as a people: affluent, orderly, fancy, and dandy.

    But where does the food come from? Slaughterhouses that smash skulls of animals and gut their innards. What happens to all that waste? Isn’t industrial slaughter and blue-collar world of grime also part of society? And yet, such are mostly hidden from our preferred view of society. For example, NY is typically depicted with images of Time Square, not with the garbage crew that actually keeps the city clean.
    And when we look at skyscrapers, do we really think of the plumbing and sewage? We see the impressive glass-and-steel structure but we don’t see the shit and piss that go down pipes within the building. Or imagine a bunch of well-dressed people at a fancy restaurant. They look so cultured and refined, but what are they doing? They are cutting up pieces of dead animals, putting inside their mouths, chewing and mashing them. And then the food goes down and turns into shit in their intestines. We are all carriers of shit and piss at all times. If someone carries around a bag of shit, you’d be grossed out. But in fact, we carry shit INSIDE of us. Our bodies are in a constant state of decay and regeneration. We give off 50,000 dead skin cells every second. At all times, bodily fluids move through within us to carry blood, bile, and waste material.
    This is reality and happening at all times. But our consciousness either filters out much that seems gross or is blind to many layers of reality. Consider how germs are all around us, but our eyes cannot see them. What ERASERHEAD does is put a stethoscope to the sounds emanating from our bodily parts, the groan and moan that we usually don’t hear. It is like a colonoscopy up the human orifice. It makes us aware of the bodily processes happening at all times regardless of whether we think of them or not. As all those processes are part of reality, they are normal. But most of the remains hidden from our consciousness that prefers a tidier summation of the world; we can handle only so much chaos.
    I think, maybe, one of the problems with mentally sick people is their filtering apparatus breaks down and they become aware of far more reality than they mind can handle.
    It’s like, when you’re having a conversation with someone, you focus on his demeanor and words(and filter out just about everything else). You don’t think about the blood flowing through his veins, his neurons flaring all over, the bile secreted by his pancreas, the food turning into shit in his intestines, the booger forming in his nose, the germs in his mouth, the urine in his bladder, the sperm forming in his testicles, and etc. But all that is part of reality too, and ERASERHEAD presents a reality hovering between social normality and biological normality, between the human dimension and the nano-dimension. The protagonist’s anxiety is the product of his desire for ‘bourgeois’ stability and disturbed intimation of deeper reality. It’s like the female character in Ingmar Bergman’s THROUGH A LOOKING GLASS has one foot in each dimension: the social world and psychological world. She oscillates between leading a normal family life and growing increasingly aware of the hidden corridors of the mind.

    This is why ERASERHEAD is more than a weird movie. It’s easy to be put weird stuff on the screen. Take one of the many worthless movies by Terry Gilliam or latter-day Fellini. What is remarkable about Lynch is that his weirdness isn’t for weirdness-sake but a fascinating portrait of a deeper, darker, and danker normality. It is here that he is most like Kafka, the weirdness of his world actually providing clues to the hidden ways of the actual world. His vision is the reverse of psychosomatic. It is biosomatic, a presentation of mental states as affected by deeper hidden biological processes.

    David Cronenberg is comparable to Lynch in that what seems so abnormal and strange in his films are often revelations of reality that is around us and under us but something we usually filter out both psychologically, socially, or by means of technology. The sewage system surely hides the fact of how filthy and gross our species really is.

    • Replies: @atlantis_dweller
    , @bebel
  10. Henry’s meeting with Mary’s parents is filled with excruciatingly awkward silences, during which we hear constant mechanical rumbling and hissing

    Later so well embedded in his Dune, especially dehumanizing and bizarre Harkonnen’s Giedi Prime vision.

  11. @Anon

    I remember of top-tier Italian cinema scholar Enrico Ghezzi saying of the motion pictures the state-tv cinema program he edited picked to broadcast: they were not realistic at all or too realistic, so, you see, insane in either case.

    True art’s task is exactly to scour the regions of the unconscious — the repressed, the dreamt-only, which for most is the feared and the sick.

    • Replies: @Logan
  12. bebel says:
    @Anon

    And if people knew just how dirty their bodies are inside they’d truly gross out, from fear.

    When man started to dig up stuff from underground, many thousand years ago, a genetic decline had started. The reason is, what’s underground should stay there. If you bring it up, burn it or otherwise process it, toxins are created which on the long term, damage our cells and DNA is of course made from cells.

    The speed of decline is exponential; the industrial revolution really boosted it and other advancements after the 2nd world war accerelerated it even more. We are on the verge of sexual equality which really means infertility. Social processes are only mirrors of biological ones, one thing to keep in mind.

    “Clear body, clear mind” is not an Hubbard invention although he had a few tricks up his sleeve that his success was based on. It is not possible to attain any kind of universal consciousness unless one clears the body. What man can do is really simple, a heavy metal detox takes usually 2-3 years for an adult if one is diligent enough, in learning and in implementing.

    There are many things beside heavy metals but these are the main culprit which whacks the liver; once the liver is fixed the rest like parasites are easily eliminated. Demonic activity which makes one restless (that got us expelled from paradise in the first place) also gets diminished as the toxins are removed.

    Lynch himself stopped eating his famous shake at Bob’s when he found out what actually is in it. One should never consume anything that comes out of a factory; but clearly he didn’t take it all the way since smoking and coffee are highly toxic as well. And now he’s doing world tours for TM, not realizing that the byproducts of traveling are some of the most dangerous to life.

    good luck,

  13. Logan says:
    @atlantis_dweller

    True art’s task is exactly to scour the regions of the unconscious — the repressed, the dreamt-only, which for most is the feared and the sick.

    Well, that’s an interesting opinion stated as fact.

    Why should the purpose of art not be that of pointing us towards the noble and beautiful?

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  14. @Logan

    Why should the purpose of art not be that of pointing us towards the noble and beautiful?

    Excellent comment and a correct one. Great art is always about beauty in its different manifestations.

    • Replies: @Ivan K.
  15. Ivan K. says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Why should the purpose of art not be that of pointing us towards the noble and beautiful?

    Beauty and nobility are less than clearly defined for most people, and arguably have never been defined in such a way that would disallow misuse and abuse. That’s one problem with the above suggestion.
    Another is that an artist can hardly ever start with a conscious intent to produce beauty or show nobility. Artists, instead, act in uncharted waters, do things that are not agreed upfront, nor understood at once, and normally let their own feelings guide them, to an unpredictable result. Because of that, I’d decline to even try to state its social purpose. The reality of art is that a single person does something that is off the charts and is therefore essentially adventurous.
    Roger Scruton defines the aim of art as beauty, which in turns is a link to a higher form of existence, and an unalloyed good. Beauty has another side: “Beauty is the most dangerous weapon.” http://archive.is/j0XtU#selection-383.0-387.206
    I once made this point to Scruton. The learned and eloquent man’s answer was silence. That strikes me as a prudent attitude for an ideologue of a predator empire’s upper class that aspires to continue using ‘beauty’ as a tool to distract, disarm(!), in order to conquer, plunder and murder.

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