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Dumbland (c) D.R.

Up to the present there has been two contrasting features aired on the website : Dumbland and Rabbits. Dumbland is a crude flash animated venture with voices created by Lynch himself (2), whilst Rabbits is a project which will no doubt appeal to the hardcore set of Lynch’s fan base as it is as far removed from Dumbland as it is possible to get in terms of theme, quality, ambience and execution. There is also a third series penned in the mysterious Axxon N. (little of which is known about, although a poster on www.davidlynch.com does stress that it is “Rated for mature viewers (3)) that at the moment requires further funding to bring it to fruition. But it is Rabbits which is what I want to discuss here, although trying to forecast any form of denouement in terms of closure would be futile at this stage in the proceedings, primarily because Lynch favours open rather than closed systems of narrative.

Rabbits features the talents of Mulholland Drive’s two leading ladies Naomi Watts (Suzi), Laura Elena Harring (Jane), and Scott Coffey (Jack), a David Lynch regular who has appeared in minor roles (4) in Lost Highway (as Teddie), Wild at Heart (his character Billie was edited from the final cut of the movie) and Mulholland Drive (as Wilkins - a character who had a larger part when the series was a pilot, but is reduced to nothing more than a cameo appearance in the Adam and Camilla engagement scene). It is ironic then that Scott’s appearance in Rabbits protracts his anonymity in Lynch’s œuvre by requiring him and his co-stars to remain hidden behind Bunny costumes. This may seem cruel on the surface, but it infact plays into the hands of Lynch’s obsession with the hidden and identity. It also comes in useful for continuing the series of Rabbits with stand in actors should the regulars have prior commitments. A substitution of an actress does actually occur in episode 3 when Mulholland Drive’s Chanteuse Rebekah Del Rio stands in for Laura Elena Harring’s character Jane, although this could be because Lynch wanted to resurrect her vocal abilities for this portion of the series. The irony of the situation (which is perhaps Lynch’s humorous intention) is that the viewing public would be none the wiser whoever was underneath the costumes, all that would be required would be a voice over to cement the illusion of unity for future episodes. This cynical ploy could indeed be the raison d’être for the using the form of the Rabbit in an otherwise all to human affair. But are there other reasons for using non human creatures to portray events which could otherwise have been enacted by beings of a non animal variety ?

  The Angriest  Dog in the world (c) D.R.

David Lynch has of course used animals within his back catalogue of work before. Dogs for instance feature in nearly every one of his movies usually as a visual prop : who could forget the scene in Wild At Heart in which our canine friend scampers away with the Bank teller’s severed hand ? Or the mewling pups in Mary X’s living room in Eraserhead ? Indeed a dog, albeit in cartoon form, took centre stage in Lynch’s cartoon series for the L.A Reader The Angriest Dog In The World. But it is here on his website that Lynch seems to be opening up more to the wonders of nature : Bees, Coyotes, and Dead Mice all have a part to play in various guises and manifestations within www.davidlynch.com (5), and as part of the pay per view series the Rabbit has been given the starring role.

There could be and probably are several reasons why Lynch has chosen this particular animal : they are universally known for their prodigious sexual activity, they have an aesthetic physicality, which has been appropriated throughout culture for their anthropomorphic qualities. They are frequently used in dream symbolism and it could be argued that they are also nervous creatures, emblematic of fear. All these reasons seem feasible motivations to entice Lynch’s interest but it is highly unlikely that he should have elected them as candidates for any great metaphysical intrigue this late on in his career, especially since there is no indication that he has shown any type of fetish for them in his previous work. No, the choice of Rabbits was probably taken for artistic and practical reasons : Rabbits are a creature that have the correct morphology of representation : their physicality looks correct when matched to Lynch’s “Eye Of The Duck“ principle (the duck being a perfectly symmetrical creature in Lynch’s perception, and therefore used as a criteria for esthetical composition) (6). They are also one of the most popular creatures when displaying “Wall Shadows” as their outlines project well onto a room’s backdrop, which is an artistic feature of this series that serves the lighting arrangements very favourably : indeed the silhouette of a rabbit can be seen on the website’s design poster which conjures up images of film noir, intrigue and mystery.