Director: David Lynch
Year Released: 1977
Lynch's feature debut, about factory worker Henry (Jack Nance) who impregnates his girlfriend and is left taking care of the mutant child (that laughs at him) by himself, remains one of the most unnerving and unique films ever made. I first saw this when I was in high school and just getting into experimental cinema, and while I liked it I thought it was too full of despair to truly 'love' - decades later (and my second viewing), I have the same reaction ... which is ironic because Lynch called it his "most spiritual" movie (and, keeping in character, refused to elaborate). Interpretations vary, but general consensus is it's about anxiety over fatherhood: I've always thought the Lady in the Radiator (you know, the one with the squirrel cheeks) was supposed to represent the Angel of Birth Control. Only in his early thirties, Lynch showed an early understanding of his own obsessions, and the style of this would be revisited in Part 8 of the third season of Twin Peaks.