The Midnight Film Phenomenon

772 Words4 Pages
A dream of dark and troubling things: Eraserhead and the midnight film phenomenon.

It's midnight in the Elgin theatre in New York, 1977, and a group of no more than 30 people keep their eyes glued to the screen getting ready to watch the film that continues the midnight film phenomenon; David Lynch's, Eraserhead. It's not a hot ticket and with very little advertising, the film depends solely on word of mouth for it's survival.
Luckily, the key to success of a midnight movie is the film's connection to its audience and the servile devotion of its fans.

And that is exactly the case with Eraserhead. Slowly yet surely, the film builds up to a counterculture sensation, amassing a cult following nation wide. Yet, while it holds many characteristics which might be attributed to cult films as a class, it differs in some significant ways.

"The very fact that they were playing at midnight, it was almost a brand name, a genre." John Waters explains in a 2005 interview. "It sounded forbidden. Midnight movies had to be funny and /or shocking in a surpising way, something completely new that you
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Eraserhead on the other hand is an obsessively introspective experience. It creates an auditory and visual assalt which cannot but isolate each viewer. The ultimate example of this as David Lynch remembers: "people were laughing [in a certain part of the film], and they couldn't hear anyone else laughing because the sound was too loud. And people didn't know whether it was funny or not. Of course, everyone doesnt' have the same sense of
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