Steam Dreams

Episode Thirteen: Steam Dreams
In which Guy cuts 'em up like regular chickens.

1 comment:

  1. David Lynch's 'Eraserhead' (1977) is such a gorgeous film. I had rediscovered it, watching it for the first time on a format other than VHS, and realized there was so much more in those shadows than I had previously realized.

    The Pharm Life frame expresses my annoyance at finding one analysis after another that reduced the film to a handful of easily mapped symbols. "'The Lady in the Radiator' equals Death." This just strikes me as so dismissively draining, and destructive toward the power of the imagery. (I often think of Herzog noting that the culture needs potent images to thrive.) It was with some satisfaction that I've seen Lynch equally frustrated by our tendency to oversimplify, and I continue to be mystified by many people's need to overt explication.

    For me, part of the film has to do with a revulsion of The Body, and the first frame, with the censorial order to 'master', appears lurid given Henry's expression, and the location of his hands. But, in my life, it's actually referring to my inability to control what I eat, or how I sleep, or whether I exercise - far more banal concerns than Freudian.

    Eno's resolution coming from my boggling over the piles of dirt on the dresser and bedside table. What the hell is that about? One answer, and I think a simple one (taken as only one answer of many possible) is as good as another: dirt gets in. You can't control the physical world.

    Eraserhead presents a dichotomy between this physical world, with it's drudgery of work (we are destined to be disposable as the eraser dream hints) and the inevitable result of carnality (the monstrous baby), and the idea world in which the physical world is defeated (as shown by the fantasies of the lady in the radiator). However Henry might resolve the predicament (Lynch has called this his most spiritual film), for the rest of us, we are stuck dealing until we die. And until that time, on this plain, anyway, dirt gets in.

    The Beautiful Girl Across The Hall, played by Judith Anna Roberts, presents an arresting scene. The Soap Strip frame depicting that moment blew my mind when I completed it. This turned out to be such a satisfying result of layering of halftone that it changed the way I approached every comic that has followed. I had initially meant to erase, in GIMP, the pencil lines that represented shadowing, but they looked so perfect to me that I ended up leaving them in. So happy with that result, and, naturally, I have yet to top it.

    Guy holds a poultry serving fork.



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