Eraserhead

I went along to see Eraserhead at the IFI on Thursday evening.  Good to see that there was a decent crowd there, maybe 100-120 people.  We were very close to the screen, only three rows back, and during some of the more claustrophobic scenes it began to feel like I was actually inside the film, which, if you’ve seen Eraserhead, isn’t an entirely good thing.

They were showing the remastered version, which looked great and sounded incredible.  The soundtrack was, at times, almost oppressive – full of mechanical clangs, gusting wind, the low guttural groans of subterranean industry and the hiss of high pressure steam lines.  Some years ago I worked occasionally in a sprawling industrial fertilizer plant and there were points during the movie where I felt like I was back there.  Constant noise like that can sometimes feel as though it has it’s own mass or pressure, pulsing against the sides of your head and swelling in your ears.

The whole experience left me feeling a little strange and off-kilter but nine pints of Guinness and a kebab soon brought me round.


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