Some thoughts from Godfrey this Wednesday afternoon ...
I'm sure most readers are aware of the release, last week, of the first trailer's for Denis Villeneuve's new adaptation of the classic science fiction novel DUNE, which will be released in December. This got me thinking about the 1984 adaptation by David Lynch and I wanted to share some of those with you.
Lynch's adaptation is largely hated and apparently even the director himself was unhappy with how it turned out, saying it's the only film he made that he's not proud of. It was one of my favourite films growing up, however, and I can't count how many times I watched it.
It's far from perfect, but there has always been a lot I liked about it. Maybe in part because I saw the movie before reading the novel, I was able to take it completely on its own without comparison to the book. The thing I loved most were the sets, costumes, and overall atmosphere that Lynch created. He did an excellent job of creating a fully immersive film and portraying the uncomfortable themes (including the Byzantine politics) and even some of the weird mythical stuff very well. I personally loved the baroque/Art Deco styling. The visuals and cinematography were epic and gorgeous really giving a feel for the planet Arrakis and the massiveness of the whole universe Herbert created.
I was actually rather underwhelmed when I finally read the novels and for a long time preferred the Lynch adaptation to the original material. I have come to enjoy each in its own way. I certainly think that Lynch's Dune is NOT worthy of the scorn that is heaped upon it.
The cast was, for the most part, superbly cast and delivered great performances. I know that Kyle McLaughlan is hated as Paul Atreides, the main protagonist but I never had a problem with him. Maybe he wasn't the most inspiring leader type, but he's also supposed to be a 15 year old boy (albeit Kyle was more like mid-20s). Patrick Stewart and Jurgen Protchnow were absolutely epic in the film and I don't know how a guy I've never heard of and Poe Dameron can replace them, but we'll see!
Just in case you missed it, there's the trailer I mentioned:
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