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Trailers from Hell: Karyn Kusama on David Lynch's Visionary Feature Debut 'Eraserhead'

Photo of Trailers From Hell By Trailers From Hell | Thompson on Hollywood February 3, 2014 at 2:14PM

This week on Trailers from Hell, "Jennifer's Body" director Karyn Kusama takes a look at David Lynch's extraordinary, surreal debut film "Eraserhead" (1977).

This week on Trailers from Hell, "Jennifer's Body" director Karyn Kusama takes a look at writer/director David Lynch's extraordinary, surreal debut film "Eraserhead" (1977) which, surprisingly, never had a proper theatrical trailer.

David Lynch's visionary black comedy was shot in sunny California but the bleakly surreal black and white imagery, full of smoking chimneys and dilapidated walk-ups, suggests a nightmare factory town by way of Diane Arbus. The film has such a uniquely grungy beauty (courtesy of Frederick Elmes' photography) and featured such eccentrically empathetic characters (in particular the woebegone hero played by Jack Nance) that the prescient Mel Brooks took a chance on the unknown Lynch and hired him to direct "The Elephant Man."

This article is related to: Video, Video, Trailers from Hell, Trailers, David Lynch

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.