Two Surreal First Features! David Lynch's distinctive debut ERASERHEAD stars Jack Nance as the father of a mutant baby in a parody of working-class life in a nightmarish industrial world. Director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman made Oscar-nominated feature debuts with BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, about a puppeteer (John Cusack) who discovers a secret portal leading into the mind of the famed actor.
1977, Janus Films, 89 min, USA, Dir: David Lynch
Filmmaker and artist David Lynch burst on the scene in the late ’70s with this disturbing avant-garde masterpiece. Put-upon Everyman Henry (Jack Nance) – he with the Brillo hairdo – shambles resignedly through a dark, industrial urban landscape. When he joins Mary X (Charlotte Stewart) in a nightmare parody of working-class connubial bliss, and she subsequently gives birth to their mutant calf child, we realize there is no return ticket from this descent down the rabbit hole. “May be the greatest debut by an American director after CITIZEN KANE.” — Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid. “Nerds in space. Mutant babies. Domestic derangement. Radiator ladies. Inexplicable seizures. Enigmatic orifices. Weird routines. The hardcore bizarre and ineffably beautiful. … Awesome. … One must also hear it … the soundscape of ERASERHEAD opened a vast new dimension.” — Nathan Lee, The Village Voice.
BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
1999, Universal, 112 min, USA, Dir: Spike Jonze
Director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman made their feature debuts — and earned Oscar nominations — with this surreal fantasy. When puppeteer Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) gets a job at the strange LesterCorp, he discovers a secret portal leading into the mind of John Malkovich. When Schwartz’s wife (Cameron Diaz) and co-worker (Catherine Keener) learn of this, they begin using the actor to advance their own agendas.
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