A Surrealist Nightmare About The Anxieties Of Fatherhood

Before delving into the narrative, I would like to talk about the film’s stellar sound design, which heavily lends to the sense of relentless discomfort that defines it. The story’s industrial setting, although reflective of some corners of postmodern society, emerges as alien due to the way sound accentuates the threats of living in such a landscape, where safe spaces are a myth and emotions are as deformed as the infant that seemingly falls from the sky. While some industrial sounds overpower certain scenes, a majority of the events are layered with an unnerving, low-level background noise that follows Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) wherever he goes.

Music has always been a full-fledged functional facet in Lynch’s world, be it in the form of Angelo Badalamenti’s haunting soundtrack that directly defines the inner landscapes of “Twin Peaks” or the crucial significance of Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” that acts as a turning point in Lynch’s “Blue Velvet.” For “Eraserhead,” Lynch worked alongside Alan Splet to carve out the visceral sound design, while working closely with Fats Waller and Peter Ivers, who composed original pieces that underlined a sense of Kafkaesque claustrophobia, reminiscent of the menacing, bureaucratic world of Joseph K. in “The Trial.” 

Lynch also uses sounds to induce anxiety or anticipation in audiences, using clanks, hisses, and subtle foreboding notes to set the stage for allegorical strands, such as when Spencer stares at the radiator and hears steam escaping, but this is meant to allude to his inner world and not his tangible reality. This is what makes the film’s horrifying aspects more effective, as familiar sounds offer a mirage of normalcy, only to be undercut by an endless, hopeless nightmare with no beginning or end.

Source : https://www.slashfilm.com/1234461/eraserhead-ending-explained-a-surrealist-nightmare-about-the-anxieties-of-fatherhood/

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