Dune

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David Lynch’s infamous film version of Frank Herbert’s mammoth science fiction novel, Dune, is an epic and surreal tale of space, spice and sand worms! Herbert’s cultishly-adored novel Dune was long considered by many as “unfilmable”, but that didn’t stop legendary producer Dino DeLaurentis from asking Lynch (hot off his Academy Award nomination for The Elephant Man) to take a crack at this sprawling saga of intergalactic warrior Paul Atreides (Twin Peak’s Kyle MacLachlan) and his messianic rise to leadership in a galactic feudal society that runs on “spice.” Condensed down to a lean 137 minutes, the sprawling plot of Dune is dense, incident-packed and filled with debris like the air during a sandstorm on the titular planet. Though supposedly overwhelmed by the demands of the enormous production, David Lynch brought much of his trademarked Lynchian panache (with more than a hint of Eraserhead’s nightmarish vibe) to Dune, and the resulting film is a sumptuous, visually spectacular experience packed with ornate details – from steaming, clanking space machinery to shadowy and baroque interiors – as well as a healthy dose of perversity (cue the monstrous phallic sand worms and fetishized leather space garb) and a bizarre cast of supporting characters, including the grotesque Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, a frightening flying freak with a serious complexion problem. And if that’s not enough, how about Sting as a nasty villain sporting metallic winged underwear and a soundtrack composed by rock band Toto? Featuring a mind-boggling all-star cast, including Max Von Sydow, Patrick Stewart, Sean Young, Brad Dourif, Virginia Madsen and Eraserhead himself, Jack Nance! (Dir. by David Lynch, 1984, USA, 137 mins., Rated PG-13) Digital