The City of Absurdity   ERASERHEAD
The Baby

  ...yeah, but don't touch it! "Never talk about the baby." Catherine Coulson

"It might as well have been a sock with a couple of buttons on it." Jack Nance

"In a way, nobody designs anything. All these shapes are found in nature. They are archetypes that everyone can relate to even if they can't intellectualize why." David Lynch

David Lynch even used to blindfold the projectionist who ran Eraserhead's rushes while the film was still in production because he never wanted anyone to see the effect of how he did the baby (nicknamed "Spike" by Jack Nance). Following is an interview excerpt between him and writer Stephen Saban in the September 28, 1978, issue of the Soho News (read the entire interview):

Question: Did you make that thing?

David Lynch: That I . . . I don't . . . I . . . Stephen, I don't wanna, uh . . . talk about that.

Can you just tell me if it's a . . . sculpture? It's so well done. Someone I saw it with thought that it might be a calf fetus.

That's what a lot of people think it is.

I thought it was made, but couldn't figure out how you got it to move. Was it battery-operated?

I really don't . . .

You credit a doctor in the film. I s that related?

Well, I was looking into different ways, you know, in the beginning...


If I say, I'll really feel bad.

Is it because you'd be giving away a technical secret, or because you'd be arrested?

You know, there's no promotional photos of the baby because people, like, know... it's like, nice to discover along in the film and not to know, like...much about it.

You say all the sounds are organic. Do you use the sound of a real baby crying?


Then what is it? Or won't you tell that either?

I'm sorry, Stephen. Doggone it, you know, I'm not trying to, you know... It's just the baby stuff, I....

– END –

So do you really still want to know? Well let me put it this way:

"I hate talking about how things are done. It's like a magic trick. As soon as people know how it was done, they say, 'Oh.' The curiosity instantly vanishes." David Lynch

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© Mike Hartmann