David Lynch Posts His Nightmarish Sitcom Rabbits Online–the Show That Psychologists Use to Induce a Sense of Existential Crisis in Research Subjects

If recent world events feel to you like an exis­ten­tial cri­sis, you may find your­self brows­ing Youtube for calm­ing view­ing mate­r­i­al. But there’s also some­thing to be said for fight­ing fire with fire, so why not plunge straight into the dread and pan­ic with David Lynch’s sit­com Rab­bits? Set “in a name­less city del­uged by a con­tin­u­ous rain” where a fam­i­ly of three humanoid rab­bits live “with a fear­ful mys­tery,” the eight-episode web series has, as we’ve pre­vi­ous­ly men­tioned here on Open Cul­turebeen used by Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia psy­chol­o­gists to induce a sense of exis­ten­tial cri­sis in research sub­jects. Hav­ing orig­i­nal­ly shot it on a set in his back­yard in 2002 (and incor­po­rat­ed pieces of it into his 2006 fea­ture Inland Empire), Lynch has just begun mak­ing Rab­bits avail­able again on Youtube.

The first episode of Rab­bits went up yes­ter­day on David Lynch The­ater, the offi­cial Youtube chan­nel of the man who direct­ed Eraser­headBlue Vel­vetMul­hol­land Dri­ve, and oth­er such pieces of Lynchi­an cin­e­ma. Though he has­n’t made a fea­ture film in quite some time, he’s kept busy, as his fre­quent uploads have doc­u­ment­ed: take his 2015 ani­mat­ed short Fire (Pozar), which we fea­tured last month, or his dai­ly Los Ange­les weath­er reports.

More recent­ly, Lynch has been post­ing short videos called “What Is David Work­ing on Today?” These offer just what their title promis­es: a look at such art projects as and craft projects as “a drain spout for the bot­tom of my wood­en sink,” the “swing-out uri­nal” installed, and most recent­ly “the incred­i­ble check­ing stick.”

This might at first sound dispir­it­ing­ly nor­mal — at least until you get to how the check­ing stick is sup­posed to work — but those who have long enjoyed Lynch’s films know that nor­mal­i­ty is what gives them pow­er. David Fos­ter Wal­lace described the “Lynchi­an” as “a par­tic­u­lar kind of irony where the very macabre and the very mun­dane com­bine in such a way as to reveal the for­mer’s per­pet­u­al con­tain­ment with­in the lat­ter.” There is, of course, noth­ing macabre (and often noth­ing mun­dane) about the wood­en objects Lynch builds and repairs in his work­shop these days. But Rab­bits, too, was also one of his home­made projects, and its “sto­ry of mod­ern life,” as Lynch called it on Twit­ter, still makes for a har­row­ing­ly mun­dane view­ing expe­ri­ence.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

David Lynch Made a Dis­turb­ing Web Sit­com Called “Rab­bits”: It’s Now Used by Psy­chol­o­gists to Induce a Sense of Exis­ten­tial Cri­sis in Research Sub­jects

David Lynch Cre­ates Dai­ly Weath­er Reports for Los Ange­les: How the Film­mak­er Pass­es Time in Quar­an­tine

David Lynch Releas­es an Ani­mat­ed Film Online: Watch Fire (Pozar)

What Makes a David Lynch Film Lynchi­an: A Video Essay

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall, on Face­book, or on Insta­gram.

by | Permalink | Comments (1) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (1)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.