Eraserhead in 35mm preceeded by Asparagus in 35mm

Eraserhead in 35mm preceeded by Asparagus in 35mm

The film that J. Hoberman and Jonathan Rosenbaum call a “nightmare sitcom of the urban soul” carries the torch as the first film to intentionally hold its world premiere in a midnight slot at the boundary-pushing Los Angeles–based festival Filmex in 1977. Yet even this audacious statement couldn't save David Lynch’s astonishing, surreal debut from the misinterpretation of mainstream critics. Thankfully, the ever-intrepid Ben Barenholtz, who lays claim to inventing the midnight movie, opened the film in New York City at several theaters, where it ran at midnight for close to three years; here in Los Angeles, Eraserhead ran at midnight at the Nuart Theatre for nearly four years straight.

DIRECTED/WRITTEN BY: David Lynch. WITH: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph, Jeanne Bates. 1977. 89 min. USA. B&W. English. 35mm.

Acquired by Ben Barenholtz in 1978 for the explicit purpose of whetting the audience’s appetite before screenings of Eraserhead, Suzan Pitt’s singular animated hallucination played before David Lynch’s feature for two years at both the Waverly in New York and Los Angeles’s Nuart Theatre.

You can see more of Pitt’s vibrant body of work in our Available Space program So Dreamy, So Sinister: Animation by Suzan Pitt on May 16.

DIRECTED BY: Suzan Pitt. 1979. 19 min. USA. Color. 35mm. Restored by the Academy Film Archive.

Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation. 

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