Sunday, August 24, 2014

109. A new print of } David Lynch’s Eraserhead.


Brattle Theater, Cambridge. Aug. 23, 2014. 11:30pm. 35mm.

She attends all six films in the “Reel Weird Brattle” series: Dark City (7.19), Hausu (7.26), Dreamscape (8.2), Paprika (8.9), Videodrome (8.16), and Eraserhead. Her reward is an Eraserhead t-shirt, size small (the face of the “radiator woman” in a circle  surrounded by the legend “In Heaven everything is fine”). We all get pencils and pins.

Janus is the god of thresholds.

Born from the head out of the mouth sound. In a crater on the moon the whole cosmos born.

David Lynch wrote in Catching the Big Fish that while he was in England filming The Elephant Man a group of “guys who were working with George Lucas” told him that they met Stanley Kubrick and “he said, ‘How would you fellows like to come up to my house tonight and see my favorite film?’ They said that would be fantastic. They went up and Stanley Kubrick showed them Eraserhead. So right then I could have passed away peaceful and happy.” Via another anecdote, reported in an interview with Lynch, Kubrick showed his crew Eraserhead while they shot The Shining, because Kubrick liked Eraserhead’s atmosphere.

Mary X: Henry’s very clever at printing.
Mrs. X: Yes. He sounds very clever.

The horror of people’s kitchens. The carving orgasm horror. Mr. X: She’ll be alright in a minute.

Guard dogs pregnant abortion the front yard frozen.

Eraserhead was compared with old German silent films not because it is like those films but because it’s shot in black and white and there is very little dialogue. An obvious mistake. Eraserhead eschews exposition. It shows and sounds its story. Just like Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. I see other similarities between the two films. Fetuses, for instance.

Mary X: Mother! They’re still not sure it is a baby. (How does mother feel when she loses control of herself and shouts at her child?) The baby is not cute. In 1977, David Lynch wouldn’t tell interviewers Stephen Saban and Sarah Longacre how he made the baby. What are you talking about? A lack of sleep = to losing your mind. Henry takes the baby’s temperature: it’s perfectly normal but—jolt! the baby is covered in boils. Water. Boils.

Worm in a box [the worms from Lynch's Dune].

Am I going to follow her out of the theater?

A black and white floor. Curtains. A mysterious woman. Lamps. [Agent Dale Cooper visits the Red Room (“redrum”). Fred Madison slips into the dark mirrors in the “Gray House.” Laura Dern gets lost in the sets of On High in Blue Tomorrows.]

Sparks from an electrical outlet. Scissors to cut the baby’s swaddling. Its death is huge. The moon as egg and light. Black and silent.


1:22am, we are on Brattle Street.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

108. Color Plates finder } images from which.



“These are not interpretations or explanations of paintings—not even extrapolations or ekphrases. Instead, Color Plates is about the way a painting can provoke memory, can rustle its way into our head and incite synapses to connect in ways that are far from being obvious in the painting itself. Golaski superimposes the image in the painting with the event trapped in the head, laying the second on top of the first like ‘two texts on tissue paper’ or two lovers in a bed.” 

—Brian Evenson


The little stories (plates) in Color Plates are so removed from their first inspiration—the painting for which they are named—that a reader has all she needs in the text. That said, I appreciate that she might want more. Since the paintings are not reproduced in the book, the simplest way to get a sense of them is to search the Web. Some readers have done—have sat at a computer with book in hand and read and looked and read and looked.

Why it took so long for this ideas to occur to me I don't know, but the following is the contents of Color Plates, with links. I only include links to the websites of the museums that own the work. I assume a museum site promoting their permanent collection will be more accurate about details than other sources. In some cases, I couldn't find such a link (and in some cases, the work is in a private collection. For instance, Toulouse Lautrec's "The Laundress"). If you find a link I haven't, let me know and I'll add it.

1. Édouard Manet



“Boy with Cherries”
“Boating at Argenteuil”
“White Lilacs and Roses”
* Manet's “The Beach at Berck” is a favorite of Zetta's.

2. Edgar Degas

“The Dancing Class” (1880)
“The Cotton Market, New Orleans”
“The Café Singer”

* Degas painted many dance classes. Another, very similar to the painting in the Met, is at the Musée d'Orsay. I can't say with certainly which it was I originally studied for my story. 
** This, a sketch by Degas, may not the work I wrote from.

3. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

“Portrait of the Artist’s Mother Reading
“The Laundress”
“A Corner in the Moulin de la Galette”
“La Visite: Rue des Moulins”
“Woman Fixing Her Stocking” *
“The Grand Loge”
“In a Private Room at ‘Le Rat Mort’”
“The Modiste”
* Also “Woman Pulling Up Her Stocking,” apparently at the Musee Toulouse-Lautrec, though I can't find the image on their site.

4. Mary Cassatt

“Head of a Young Girl”
“Reading Le Figaro”
“Young Woman in Black”
“Five O’Clock Tea”
* Or, In the Loge

Color Plates is on sale at the Rose Metal Press website for $12