Skip to content
MUSEUM AND NWFC CLOSED: The Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center are closed in an effort to further stem the spread of COVID-19. All public programs, screenings, and events are canceled until further notice. Stay connected to art, film, and more by signing up for our newsletter.

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.