Wired, April 2002

By Brad Wieners

French surrealist Andre Breton once proclaimed the "the man who can't visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot." By that definition, idiots had best avoid DavidLynch.com. True to its creator's deviant vision, the subscription-based site -- part sketchbook, gallery, and cutting-room floor -- provides an intimate tour of the celebrated film director's restless, demanding, and rewarding imagination. After only a few minutes in Lynch's virtual attic, horses on tomatoes seem as common as ketchup.

First, the practical I tried to dial up the site while on the road. Ill-advised. If your fastest Web connection is at the office, plan to stay late one night (but darken the room and sneak some absinthe or a smoke), because all the content here is streaming media, not stuff you can download. As for software, site developer Eric Bassett has created an excellent start page for bringing your system up to date. That settled, pony up $9.97 a month -- three pennies less than a movie in Manhattan -- and you'reset to trip.

Once inside, you're offered original cartoons, film shorts, photos, paintings, puzzles, greeting cards, and tunes -- all done by Lynch. These include Dead Mouse With Ants, a five-minute study of just what it says (it recalls the severed ear from Blue Velvet); Dumbland, in which the first of nine episodes showcases a vulgar neighbor, a black helicopter, and a one-armed man who does the wild thing with ducks; and Head With a Hammer, a video that could be just what you need after a frustrating meeting. Coming soon Rabbits, an 11-part Web-only sitcom starring Mulholland Drive's Naomi Watts in a bunny suit. Beware Watership Down it's not. No question, some of this material is pointless, but even then it's rarely short of captivating.

Copyright 2002 Wired Magazine

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