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Directed by David Lynch

United States 1977 89 mins. In English

Is the twisted child of Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) a metaphor for the paternal anxiety this new father is experiencing? Or are the child, the Lady in the Radiator, the Man in the Planet, and all the other grotesque figures that Henry encounters meant to be taken at face value? David Lynch offers no road map for reading his stark, black-and-white debut feature. Celebrated as one of the original midnight movies, the film ran for several consecutive years on the late-night 1970s theater circuit in New York and San Francisco, slowly catapulting it into the upper echelon of cult favorites. Eraserhead is a genre unto itself. “Watching Eraserhead today, what emerges is the sheer, immersive clarity of David Lynch’s vision, the sense of a world unlike our own and yet inextricably bound to it: a world in which all the light has been sucked out, leaving only horror and isolation, desperation and unattainable dreams.”—Tom Huddleston, Time Out. “It needed to look a certain way, and the look comes about from what’s in front of the camera and how it’s lit. I designed it and built a lot of the things. You just work until you get it to feel correct. I knew what I wanted because of the ideas I got. And I love the world of Eraserhead. I would love to live in that world. I loved being in there during those years.”—David Lynch.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.