Eraserhead (BFI Film Classics) By Claire Henry Cover Image
NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 7 - 14 business days


A surreal and darkly humorous vision, David Lynch's Eraserhead (1977) has been recognised as a cult classic since its breakout success as a midnight movie in the late 1970s.

Claire Henry's study of the film takes us into its netherworld, providing a detailed account of its production history, its exhibition and reception, and its elusive meanings. Using original archival research, she traces how Lynch took his nightmare of Philadelphia to the City of Dreams, infusing his LA-shot film with the industrial cityscapes and sounds of the Callowhill district. Henry then engages with Eraserhead's irresistible inscrutability and advances a fresh interpretation, reframing auteurism to centre Lynch's creative processes as a visual artist and Transcendental Meditation practitioner. Finally, she outlines how Lynch's 'dream of dark and troubling things' became a model midnight movie and later grew in reputation and influence across broader film culture.

From the opening chapter on Eraserhead's famous 'baby' to the final chapter on the film's tentacular influence, Henry's compelling and authoritative account offers illuminating new perspectives on the making and meaning of the film and its legacy. Through an in-depth analysis of the film's rich mise en sc ne, cinematography, sound and its embeddedness in visual art and screen culture, Henry not only affirms the film's significance as Lynch's first feature, but also advances a wider case for appreciating its status as a film classic.

About the Author

Claire Henry is a Lecturer and Discipline Lead in Screen at Flinders University, Australia. She is the author of Revisionist Rape-Revenge: Redefining a Film Genre (2014), co-author of Screening the Posthuman (2023), and a contributor to edited volumes on national cinemas, genre and censorship. She has also published widely in journals such as Studies in European Cinema, Open Cultural Studies, Frames Cinema Journal and Senses of Cinema.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781839025600
ISBN-10: 1839025603
Publisher: British Film Institute
Publication Date: May 4th, 2023
Pages: 120
Language: English
Series: BFI Film Classics