Visionary or illusionist? The surreal art of David Lynch takes an enterprising twist

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David Lynch, the director whose surreal, to some eyes incomprehensible, works have frustrated and enthralled cinema and television audiences for years, is about to torment the internet generation.

The next three glimpses into the outlandish reaches of his psyche will be available only to those brave or committed enough to become members of his official website.

Following the example set by the horror writer Stephen King, who published an online novel two years ago, Lynch will be offering three new ventures to subscribers of davidlynch.com.

The first, Dumbland, will be a cartoon, a new direction for the man who started with the unsettling black-and-white vision of Eraserhead, made his name with the surreal soap opera Twin Peaks, and last year was both hailed as a genius and accused of mocking audiences with the complexity of Mulholland Drive.

According to Lynch's notes on the website, Dumbland, which is rated for "mature audiences", is "crude, stupid, violent, absurd". "If it is funny, it is funny because we see the absurdity of it all," he adds.

His introduction to the second work, a sitcom called Rabbits, may lead sceptics to wonder if the joke is on fans who are asked to pay $7.99 (£5.60) for each series. "In a nameless city, deluged by a continuous rain, three rabbits live with a fearful mystery," he says.

The sitcom is likely to capitalise on the interest in Mulholland Drive, as Naomi Watts and Laura Harring, whose sexually charged relationship is at the centre of the film, are two of the rabbits and are dressed in bunny suits.

Details of the third work, Axxon-N, remain the most obscure, and the website offers no clues. All Lynch's publicists will say is that it is a drama.

The director has given little away, beyond telling Variety magazine the internet is the "perfect place for continuing stories, for experimenting, for strange paths".

But King's previous attempt at building and sustaining an online audience did not set a hugely encouraging precedent. His novel was shelved after six episodes when sales fell off after the first few instalments.

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