This new year I was trying to come up with something a bit brighter than my usual bleak topics when I happened upon Julie A. Smith’s “David Lynch’s Rabbits.” Smith’s article about the director’s short horror-comedy videos appeared in the fall 2013 issue of the (print-only) House Rabbit Journal. I subscribe to the Journal because I am a rabbit enthusiast. I own a (crazy, disabled, angry, sweet and hilarious) lionhead rabbit named Peanut, I have fostered rabbits, and I have written about rabbits. And of course I also love the dark work of David Lynch.
Smith, a rabbit rescuer and a retired English professor from the University of Wisconsin, writes that Lynch’s Rabbits are “a wonderful joke on anthropomorphism,” adding that what attracts her to rabbits are “the things that remain impossible to humanize, like their different sense of time and timing, their obscure relation to cause and effect, their masked intentions. (…) I see them as beings inhabiting an alternative world of social cohesiveness and mutual understanding that leaves humans way behind.” I couldn’t have said it better. Without further ado, here’s Julie Smith’s article.
David Lynch’s Rabbits
David Lynch’s Rabbits (2002) may be the strangest rabbit film you will never see. Running just under 50 minutes, it was temporarily put up on Lynch’s website, davidlynch.com, as an eight-part web series. By 2011, the video had made its way to YouTube, where one can see it today, although the production values are low—images are often indistinct quite apart from the intentional fading in and out. I asked a friend to take a look at the piece; and when she returned the DVD, she said, “Lynch has a seriously messed up mind.” However, as a fan of some of Lynch’s other works, such as Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Mullholland Drive, I was intrigued. In fact, when I first saw Rabbits, I had this strange feeling that Lynch understood something important about rabbits. But what?