The City of Absurdity   Dumbland
There's nothing like sharing a kill with a friend.

  Dumbland is a crude, stupid, violent, absurd series. If it is funny, it is funny because we see the absurdity of it all. David Lynch

Dubbed "very stupid, very crude" by the director, the animation offers glimpses of a moronic land peopled with dim-witted, angry scrawls of characters. The animation style is simple – black outlines on a white background – and the star of the show is a swearing, grunting, farting, shitting, belching, ugly-looking guy. And he's very angry.

"Animation is a magical thing to me. I veered off pretty quickly into live action, but I like animation, and I like Flash."

"I think every type of medium gives you different ideas. So when you see the Flash program, it just starts talking to you. So ideas start coming along. It reminds me of early film – there's something about it that makes your imagination kick in."

"There's a funky quality. You have these still pictures and when you kick the 'go' button, they start making movement. And it's kind of amazing how with line drawings – and even bad line drawings – characters come alive. Sound plays a big role in that, but even silently they still work."

"It takes me forever to do these simple animations," says Lynch noting that many filmmakers take advantage of the tweening abilities of Flash to avoid extra work. "It kills me! I wish I was doing something so simple. I have this guy getting up off the ground and it took me three hours just to get him to stand up. There are 21 different drawings there! Sometimes with the program you can use beautiful shortcuts, but sometimes you have to draw it frame by frame. So it's a combo, and it takes me about 60 hours to do just three minutes of the drawings, and it takes two or three days to mix it."

Lynch does all the voices for the animation himself as he's working. "I have a little mirror," he says, explaining that he uses it to get the right facial contortions for his characters as they speak. "And I have a box – it's as big as this coffee cup and just about as expensive. There are little artifacts in the voice, so for some things this box is perfect. I'm interested in real time voice manipulation – I want to sing like John Lee Hooker and I want to do it in real time."

Dumbland Episode four:
We find our dumb hero smashing apart his wife's new clothesline. "What if I had to come out in the yard at night and take a shit?" he snarls. "I could slice my fucking head off." Then he's shown hunkered down by a campfire with a friend where they discuss the joys of fishing and hunting deer. "I cut their heads off right there in the woods. Then I rip 'em open, gut 'em and fry me some genuine old deer meatů There's nothing like sharing a kill with a friend."

Dumbland and Rabbits, as well as any other ideas that flower into something showable, will "air" on Lynch's new Web site, DavidLynch.com, which he likes to refer to as a TV station and which Eric Bassett, a designer based in Laguna Beach, California, is helping create.

"The Internet is a place where we can all get our own set-up and have full freedom, and that's super important." "The Internet, the way I see it, provides opportunity for experiments so I can try one little bit of something and that can lead to a whole other world. It could lead to a feature film, but maybe not. It's all about ideas and being able to realize them, and it may be just little fragments, but the Internet is kind of good for little fragments, and these may open up other worlds."

"Television is not free. It's not a place where freedom really exists."

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© Mike Hartmann
mike@thecityofabsurdity.com