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I for one love SF and Lynch's Dune. Is this article just an excuse to show us the awesome set art? Not being sarcastic here, I really wish I could see the full uncut version, have only seen the heavily edited TV one that airs every year or two. It's great far-future stuff, and I think more interesting (if less successful) than Alien or other Geiger-inspired sets.

I've read elsewhere on the Internet that Dune the novel actually is an inspiration for the Star Wars universe, even if the Star Wars cinematography predates and must influence (even if through intentional avoidance of such appearance) Lynch's treatment of Dune...

[edit: fixed typo of Dune, not Doom]

I also love Lynch's Dune. I've seen the extended version once a long time ago. From what I remember there was scenes of voiceovers and art explaining more of the universe and the houses and their relationships.

Have you seen the documentary "Jodorowsky's Dune"? If you're a Dune fan, or a fan of 70's and 80's era sci-fi films, I highly recommend it. What I found most interesting about that documentary is how the director created this amazing team to work on his Dune project, which eventually failed, but ended up influencing the style/art of so many subsequent Sci-fi films because that team dispersed and they worked on so many prominent films.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg4OCeSTL08 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jodorowsky%27s_Dune

Jodorowsky's Dune was a phenomenal documentary.

This film that never got made is the stuff of nightmares for project managers and money people, but damn, Jodorowsky's contagious inspiration was (and still is) off the charts. We need more Jodorowsky's in the world.

I miss european and latin american SF it had a different flave. Sadly Besson Valerian seems to have been infused with American influences already.

What I enjoyed most about Lynch's version is he got the looks right. From costumes to hair color of the characters. These are simple things that book readers do notice. While his weirding devices and rain at the end were not great choices they did not take away from the movie too much for me.

Where I like the SF version was the followup, Children of Dune. That I enjoyed, I didn't care for Leto's transformation makeup but marked it off as budget.

I would love to get a look at the "book" with all the art from Moebius, Giger and person who designed the space ships (forgetting his name right now). Edit: Chris foss.

Thanks for response :)

>Have you seen the documentary "Jodorowsky's Dune"?

I find it hard to praise as a lot of what gets passed off as Jodorowsky's 'work' is actually Moebius's work and as a big Moebius fan its disheartening to see the narrative downplay his achievements here to create this 'mad genius' Jodorowsky character. Yes it makes for good entertainment, but its not really fact and the documentary is very wary about giving credit where credit is due. Worse, the ending that showed future art as being derivative of this production was completely disingenuous. That art shown was already the established style of the people involved. Jodorowsky and his crazy Dune ideas didn't inspire Moebius, Giger, O'Bannon and others, they simply took their talents elsewhere. Of course the drawings and set ideas look alike, these people were already established artists at this point in their careers with established styles.

As a big fan of Jodorowsky (L'Incal is one my favourite graphic novels ever), I think we could also unequivocally say that whatever he had made would not have been very faithful to the book. It's quite possible that Dune fans would have been even less happy with Jodorowsky's film than Lynch's.

We also have to remember that this was before Star Wars and Alien. Most scifi at the time was, with some honourable exceptions (2001: A Space Odyssey, Silent Running, The Andromeda Strain, Solaris), pretty silly, childish, often campy stuff: The Black Hole, Buck Rogers, Moonraker. Pulp origins aside, Star Wars introduces a level of violence, maturity and realism to the genre that stood out at the time, and closer to that of contemporary adult 1970s productions like Apocalypse Now, Easy Rider and so on.

For all the considerable talent involved in the Dune adaptation, it's quite possible — and this eases the pain over the loss of the project a bit — that it would have been closer in tone to something like Zardoz or Flash Gordon, i.e. a big, colourful, but ultimately also a bit silly extravaganza. Even O'Bannon's Alien script was also pretty pulpy and silly until Ridley Scott, David Giler and Walter Hill hammered it into shape.

I think one of the reasons why "Jodorowsky's Dune" is such an amazing documentary is that it describes an impossibly ambitious film, something so awesome that you're drawn into believing in it with the director himself.

If it really _were_ made however, yeah, it could _only_ have be a disappointment in comparison to what the documentary about it suggests.

Jodorowsky's version of Dune is perhaps the greatest film that was never made and, ironically, it is better this way.

We'll never know. Another lost work I would kill to see is Tarkovsky's original version of Stalker.

He spent an entire summer filming the Strugatskys' original screenplay, based on their masterpiece Roadside Picnic. But he was using a type of American Kodak film stock that was found to be out of date; he tried several times to confirm the problem with the Soviet processing lab, but they were unfamiliar with the stock, and only by the time he was done shooting did they realize that the footage was in fact unusable.

At this point Tarkovsky had used too much money, and had no choice but to go back to the Soviet film board to negotiate a new financing deal. At the same time, he was deeply unhappy with what he'd filmed so far (he had also fired his cinematographer), and was desperate to start over fresh. Helped by the Strugatskys, he developed a new, miminalistic framework for the film that eliminated most of the scifi trappings of the novel, and he reshot the film almost without a script. (The whole story of Stalker is much more complicated, of course. I recommend the book "The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue", by Johnson and Petrie, for more information.)

I don't know what happened to the damaged footage, but I guess it must have been destroyed. We'll never know what it was like. I don't think anyone except a handful of people have seen the footage, and they are all dead.

Stalker was a unforgettable mesmerizing, almost hypnotic film. I didn't know there had been an earlier attempt! IMHO that Tarkovsky was able to make ANY film at all in the hostile bureaucratic atmosphere in which he worked gives a ray of hope to artists everywhere.

Wow, that's probably the first time I see words "maturity and realism" applied to SW unironically. I understand what you're saying, though.

To my taste, self-acknowledged silly extravaganza is always better than something silly, made with the intent of being serious.

Every so often I feel the need for moment of silence for the reality in which Dali played the Emperor, and Orson Welles the Baron...

I would have loved to have seen The Holy Mountain With Spice - I think Jodorowsky perhaps would have presented Herbert's vision more in line with the original intent.

I really hated the movie. I preferred the Mini Series from 2000 from SciFi. The special effects certainly didn't age well but it told the story much better.

It would take at least a Hobbit level of production and length of time. I don't ever see that happening. The book is just to large. It would be like movies for Asimov's Foundation Series. (Though the Caves of Steel would be awesome!!!)

I didn't like the 2000 SyFy miniseries at all :( It looked so... cheap and campy. There are plenty of flaws in Lynch's Dune, but it managed to look awesome at times. The meeting between the Emperor and the Navigator is awesome and ominous. Nothing in the SyFy miniseries matches this. And SyFy's Baron Harkonnen manages to look completely non-threatening :(

I really hate the miniseries.

The first mini-series was a bit hit-and-miss for me as well. I loved James McAvoy's take on Leto II in the Children of Dune miniseries though. The sci-fi miniseries treated the characters alot better than Lynch's work, but sacrificed the special effects and some of the world building.

Those guys in black mopping up after the Navigator just set everything off with a "WTF" quality above and beyond the weird-ass monster thing in the box, right? Love that scene. The whole room is gorgeous, and the various people running around, his generals, the dogs. It's amazing.

Yup. So bizarre and cool. Unlike anything I had seen at that point in my life. I guess that's Lynch for you :)

> I really hate the miniseries.

Same here. A good case for why a more a faithful adaptation doesn't make for a better product. You believe in the world Lynch creates. The miniseries, by contrast, is so fake looking and fake feeling that you can't suspend disbelief.

I agree, which is why I find it baffling that the author started out complaining about the set design and the limited outdoor scenes -- for a movie made in 1984. C'mon, it was a lot harder then. One of the directors almost died falling off of a miniature model used in a establishing shot. And I like the dark baroque sets, they'll always be the canonical look for my internal Dune universe.

(I do think the second half of the movie and the battle scenes kinda dragged, though.)

The problem isn't the sets are meticulous, it's that they are all dark and could be different parts of the same world.

Caladan is supposed to be a verdant world full of water, it looks like it's dark small and rainy in the movie.

After decades Lynch's Dune is still my favorite movie of all times. I was very young when I watched it and I didn't have much of a reference for what movies were even supposed to feel like at the time, so Dune seemed like a perfectly normal place to start. Suspect the experience is quite different if you already have decades to movie going by the time you see it.

Besides Star Wars and Blade Runner I can't think of another SF movie that has as much impact on me.

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who likes Lynch's Dune. I enjoyed it, visually I think its beautiful. I don't think it dishonors the book.

I first saw it as a teenager, right after I had finished reading the Frank Herbert series. It was so different from what I expected - I HATED it! But over the years, it has grown on me, and has really made me appreciate the difficulty that creators face when they are adapting something into a different medium. Lynch is a master filmmaker, and he was ruthless in his re-molding of the source material to make it work on the silver screen. The books are very focused on the internal lives of characters, and the grand designs of powerful people - and I think Lynch instinctively knew that a lot of that wouldn't translate well. Indeed, the awkward inner thoughts that you hear all through Lynch's Dune are one of the worst aspects of the movie... despite being faithful renditions of Frank Herbert's Dune.

What finally won me over was the realization that Lynch's movie in no way devalued the books. Sure, it left out a lot... but it more than made up for it by giving me some visual glimpses of what a Dune universe might be like, how live-action representations of these characters might behave. The aggressive weirdness helped give it that otherworldly feel that I felt when reading the books. I would never recommended it as a substitute to reading it... but as a companion work, it's excellent.

I hope the scuttlebutt about a new Dune movie is true. The more the merrier!

As a young man who had read and loved Dune, Lynch's movie infuriated me. (Weirding modules? Really?) I should give it another chance.

IMHO the weirding modules made more sense than the kung-fu kicks against armored and armed stormtroopers. Plus, it gives you the classic line "His name is a killing word."

More the merrier, indeed. I hated the Lynch movie at first viewing, but have grown to appreciate it as an abridged story.

The SciFi series was better, IMO. I would love to see McAvoy reprise his role as Leto for a "God Emporer" production.

I actually think the movie works best as a companion to the book. It's probably quite confusing if you're not familiar with the story and universe already.

I watched the movie many times before I touched the books and sure, there is a lot left unexplained, but I really loved the "tip of the iceberg" effect that created. Paul is permanently overwhelmed by knowing more than he can make sense of and Lynch does an excellent job of putting the viewer in harmony with that state of mind.

This unexplainedness by the way also keeps the mind engaged without dropping into the game of trying to mentally map out every little detail as a plot explanation mechanism. This mode of watching besets me when I see a movie that caters to the "everything has to be explained" crowd, but it should be exclusive to the murder mystery genre. Attempts to transplant that into other types of movies tend to either be painfully obvious or pointlessly complicated, to avoid the former. And somehow, they often manage to be both at once. I want immersion, not a CGI-clad sudoku.

the "everything has to be explained" crowd

Thank you for that expression.

I also watched the movie before... actually I still haven't read the books. I guess they must be superb and that's why readers are spoiled and dislike the movie.

The scene with the emperor and the navigator is best thing I've ever seen in sci-fi, both visually and for meaning.

> a CGI-clad sudoku

That might be kinda cool too...

I agree, as a companion to the book, it is fantastic. (Although rain on Dune? WTF).


Dune had a lot of water. It wasn't circulating in a normal precipitation model but was instead sequestered underground via a few different means. And that doesn't even mention the sand-trout.

More spoilers

In later books only portions of the surface of Arrakis are given to the worms and the spice.

IIRC, that's how the book ended as well. To go further, Paul held on to the water and only rarely allowed rain as he knew the water itself was poison to the sand worms.


I love the first half of Lynch's Dune. Even the long comic-book style exposition dump at the beginning.

"What is in the box?" "Pain"

IMHO it all goes wrong after Paul and his mom escape the betrayal and attack. The movie gets so bogged down with turning Paul into a Freman god that it goes completely off of the rails.

Frank Herbert liked it too.

based on the tone of this article, the writer of this article would judge anyone, including Frank Herbert, who professes to liking the film version to be lacking in understanding or appreciating Dune and SF in general.

I think that's a bit harsh. The article explained why the writer feels that the movie fails as a movie, especially as a SF movie. Even David Lynch wasn't that happy with the end result and really disliked the TV cuts. The title of the article is a bit punchy, but it's clearly about Lynch's understanding of the SF genre, not about how people who liked or hated the movie feel about SF.

> I've read elsewhere on the Internet that Dune the novel actually is an inspiration for the Star Wars universe

A greater inspiration is the comic series Valerian and Laureline [1]. Lucas pumped not just the characters and spaceships (yes, the Millenium Falcon comes from there) but also the atmosphere of Far West casual fun adventure and creativity bordering on the fantasy.

I look forward to reading articles about how Valerian copied Star Wars when the movie comes out [2].

Note the years the series was written and do not read the last few if you are not used to the way authors of that era dared to wrap up their stories.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Val%C3%A9rian_and_Laureline

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerian_and_the_City_of_a_Tho...

This spanish comic has also been mentioned. Look at the images of the main character and his robot:


The complete director's cut is fantastic. It has all the little touches book fans say are missing, and really lays out the universe in the beginning with a 10 minute preamble with handdrawn, courtroom style pictures. Just a magnificent achievement.

That's not a 'director's cut' given that Lynch didn't make it and had his name removed from the credits (and from all other versions beside the theatrical release).

Correct. It's no longer David Lynch's "Dune" but Alan Smithee's "Dune".

> I've read elsewhere on the Internet that Dune the novel actually is an inspiration for the Star Wars universe, even if the Star Wars cinematography predates and must influence (even if through intentional avoidance of such appearance) Lynch's treatment of Dune...

Probably more of a common influence on both by the Lensman series, I'd guess.


[EDIT] I'd add that a bigger cinematic influence on Lynch's dune was probably Lawrence of Arabia, which is fitting since if you've read Seven Pillars of Wisdom it's hard to believe it wasn't sitting at the top of a pile of books on Herbert's desk while he was writing Dune.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no high definition, theater aspect ratio, completely uncut version (that is, includes all scenes shot). Would really like to see that one day; the rumor is that there exists enough for a 3+ hour format, and Lynch shot 5 hours of material. Would like to see what fans could do with all 5 hours of raw footage in this day and age.

There are detailed run downs of the differences between the TV version and the theatrical version (which apparently is called the extended edition) [1]. A point brought up in that article which I agree with is that while the TV version is longer, the pan-and-scan removes much of Lynch's vision of the movie. IMDB walks through many of the known versions [2].

[1] http://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=1380

[2] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087182/alternateversions

I liked the movie too. I think it's because I saw the movie without any expectations. When I saw it I had no clue what the movie was about or that the movie was an adaptation of a book. I was able to be amazed by the ideas it put forward. I specially was amazed by the idea of space travel by folding space. And the mix of ancient ideas along with futuristic wonder. The navigator scene was great. The idea that the spice had mutated their kind was amazing, even now. I too would love to see some of the other cuts.

I've since read the book and I can see why fans hate it. It doesn't measure up to the book. But no movie could have /would have been good enough. The book is so grand it would have taken hours and hours to do it justice.

Over the years I've seen it a number of times and like it even more. But don't try to measure against the book. It will always fall short.

You can find a lot of cut scenes on Youtube, but the problem is the decision to go from 3-hour epic to 2-hour feature was made about mid-way through the production, so we really won't ever see what was truly cut, because it never got shot in the first place.

Dune could have been a proper masterpiece if the producers let Lynch geek out with a 3 hour cut. Instead we have the first half of a very gorgeous and interesting movie with a wonderful slow-burn leading up to something then... a sudden "Oh god, we have so much story to finish," second half that feels entirely too rushed for its own good. The non-canonical ending could have been workable with enough exposition and justification, but as-is completely comes out of nowhere and caps the mediocre 2nd half with a nonsense ending few walked away from happy.

The writer was wrapping up a reread series of the entire first novel and is now covering the movie versions before moving on to the second novel. I think that colors the perspective: as an adaptation of the novel, Lynch's movie fails horribly, IMO.

There are alot of influences for Star Wars, but the biggest is probably all cinematic: Kurosawa's movies, WWII fighter movies, and some episodic action serials. I won't say that Sci-Fi books weren't an influence, as I'm sure there were people who read Dune working on Star Wars, but they weren't a huge influence for Lucas.

If you're interested in more behind-the-scenes on DL's Dune, this book has a lot of information on the filming and set construction, with some actor anecdotes on the side.


Now you've got me imagining a David Lynch film about a space marine fighting robot demons on Mars.

I'd love him to make the last episode of Star Wars.

George Lucas asked him to direct Return of the Jedi. I still don't quite understand why he turned that down but picked up Dune a year or so later.


This should happen.

I like David Lynch's Dune as well. It is weird, but interesting.

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