40 Arts Circle Dr.
Evanston, IL 60201
The Elephant Man
(David Lynch, 1980, USA/UK, 35mm, 124 min)
In a career of defying expectations, David Lynch’s second feature remains an anomaly: a period biography in which the director’s hallmark strangeness comes from historical fact rather than his own imagination. It’s the story of John Merrick—the genetically disfigured “Elephant Man”—who is rescued from a life as an exploited side-show attraction by a doctor who sees the humanity behind the deformities. Although noted for its evocative black and white cinematography and for John Hurt’s sensitive and powerful performance as Merrick, the film’s emotional landscape derives, as in all of Lynch’s works, from its rich, atmospheric use of sound. Print courtesy of Lowell Peterson, ASC, and the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
In person: seven time-Academy Award-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom (Saving Private Ryan, Titanic, Finding Nemo) will introduce the film.
Co-presented by Block Cinema with the MA in Sound Arts and Industries
Image: The Elephant Man (1980)