What a year it’s been for David Lynch. Even if he doesn’t have a new film arriving anytime soon — and even if that is, to borrow his wording, such a sadness — there have been a healthy dose of releases in 2014: the excellent Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery set and, in particular, its 90 minutes of scenes deleted from Fire Walk With Me left a mark on many a cinephile’s summer, while their fall is in some part defined by Criterion’s upgrade of Eraserhead.
A terrific interview, recently published at Vulture, sees him talk about the latter in good detail. The whole discussion is truly worth reading, but one section I’d care to highlight is his answer to this question: “What’s the strangest thing anyone has ever said to you about Eraserhead?” Something that could’ve been followed with a straight-down-the-middle notice, but, at Lynch‘s doing, something that makes way for a curious look into his own relationship with the feature debut: “I like to have people be able to form their own opinion as to what it means and have their own ideas about things. But at the same time, no one, to my knowledge, has ever seen the film the way I see it. The interpretation of what it’s all about has never been my interpretation.”
It’s enough to make one pine for a revisit. For those who obsess over the man’s work, however, that should also recall one of the more enigmatic comments he’s given about the film — and, I think, one of the more enigmatic comments any director has given about their work. As excerpted from his slim autobiographical volume Catching the Big Fish:
“Eraserhead is my most spiritual movie. No one understands when I say that, but it is.
Eraserhead was growing in a certain way, and I didn’t know what it meant. I was looking for a key to unlock what these sequences were saying. Of course, I understood some of it; but I didn’t know the thing that just pulled it all together. And it was a struggle. So I got out my Bible and I started reading. And one day, I read a sentence. And I closed the Bible, because that was it; that was it. And then I saw the thing as a whole. And it fulfilled this vision for me, 100 percent.
I don’t think I’ll ever say what that sentence was.”
Below, one can see Criterion’s trailer for the new release, as well as Lynch touring PAFA’s exhibition of his work, in all “approximately 90 paintings and drawings from 1965 to present”:
What do you think of Lynch’s comments, the trailer, and this exhibition?