"Not only does the documentary Eraserhead Stories offer as much information as you'll find anywhere on the making of David Lynch's first feature film, it has a few Lynchian qualities of its own. For almost an hour and a half, David Lynch sits down behind a microphone and reminisces about the six years his ragtag team spent putting the movie together. But he does it in black-and-white, in front of a curtain, smoking, like something out of an early-1950s television broadcast. The ambient dull roar of an ill wind appears, intermittently and inexplicably, on the soundtrack. Photographs flash by, supporting some of Lynch's inspiring, arduous, and bizarre recollections. Many of his stories deal with the nuts and bolts of bringing one's financially impoverished but creatively overflowing early movies into reality."
(Colin Marshall, 17 December 2012, Open Culture)
David Lynch (2001). "Eraserhead Stories".
"There are other Expressionist and certainly Freudian dream sequences in the picture, almost always with the old man appearing in them as his present self. And some of these, largely because so many have badly copied, now look a little self-conscious- arty even. But the film's ability to engage the emotions makes it notable for more than just technique.
One of the prime reasons is what can only be described as the transcendent performance of Victor Sjostrom as Professor Borg. Sjostrom was the great Swedish silent-era director, who died aged 80, not long after the film was completed and whose The Phantom Carriage had so influenced Bergman. It was he who made the final scene one of the most serene of all Bergman's endings. 'Sjostrom's face shone', said the director. 'It emanated light - a reflection of a different reality, hitherto absent. His whole appearance was soft and gentle, his glance joyful and tender. It was like a miracle'.
Later, Bergman admitted that the character of Borg was an attempt to justify himself to his own parents, but that Sjostrom had taken his text, made it his own and invested it with Sjostrom's often painful experiences. It is still, however, chiefly concerned with forgiveness between parents and children and the lost possibilities of youth."
(Derek Malcolm, 10 June 1999)
"Jan Švankmajer has gained a legendary reputation over several decades for his distinctive use of stop-motion technique, and his ability to make surreal, nightmarish and yet somehow funny pictures. He is still making films in Prague to this day. His movies utilise exaggerated sounds & sped-up sequences and often involve inanimate objects being brought to life through stop-motion to perform perverse and often violent acts. While many of Jan Švankmajer's films depict destructive aspects of the human psyche, 'Darkness, Light, Darkness' is a depiction of Man building himself."
(beinArt International Surreal Art Collective/Jon Beinart)
"On April 26th, 1986, Chernobyl's Reactor No. 4 unleashed a thoroughly modern plague that emptied cities, condemned entire regions, and seeped invisibly into the bodies of those exposed to its destructive presence."
(Paul Fusco, Magnum In Motion)
[Photographer Paul Fusco faces the dark legacy of Chernobyl, focusing on the horrifying human consequences of the event that is now 20 years in the past. Fusco's work forces us to remember an important nightmare that we would forget at the peril of our morality and our future.]
Fig.1 Photographic essay (with audio commentary) created by Paul Fusco about the human cost of the Chernobyl disaster.