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So, you went to see the new Dune movie. Now what?  

You can, of course, read the Frank Herbert book that Denis Villeneuve was adapting, and get to work on its sequels as well. But in the midst of the collective Dune-mania occurring right now in pop culture, you might have heard tell of something else. That “something else” is the fact that auteur, experimental artist, and genuinely massive weirdo David Lynch also adapted Dune to the screen back in 1984, and that basically everyone hated it. 

There are a lot of very valid reasons to not like David Lynch’s Dune. It has the 80’s sci-fi movie problem of featuring a really intrusive voiceover that is constantly dumping exposition on you (my best friend has compared this movie, fondly, to a PowerPoint presentation). It also has some incredibly dated-looking special effects that can be distracting to a contemporary viewer. 

But here is my hot take: I love David Lynch’s Dune, not despite its weirdness, but because of it. So in this blog, I am going to try to do the impossible: not just try to convince you to watch David Lynch’s Dune, but to also give it a fair chance. It may surprise you. (Spoiler: it will definitely surprise you. I’m just hoping it will surprise you in a good way.) 

Reason #1- Lynch is the weirdo Dune deserves 

Dune is a very weird book. Many thousands of years in the future, humanity is now organized in a kind of anti-artificial intelligence version of neo-medieval feudalism, all of which is centered around the drug Spice, which allows humans to travel through space. Star Wars this is not. Dune is a very weird book, but David Lynch is a very weird guy, and his weirdness is perfect for Dune. Lynch’s Dune doubles down on the bizarreness of the world of Dune, swapping out the epic scale of Villeneuve’s adaptation for whispery, almost Shakespearian performances and a profoundly unsettling atmosphere. It is a sci-fi movie unlike any you’ve probably ever seen, and I love it for that. 

Reason #2- It doesn’t look like anything else 

Dune 2021 is full of billowy, minimalistic costumes and huge, washed-out landscapes, two features that you are likely to run into in other contemporary sci-fi flicks. David Lynch has never been known for his restraint, though, and in his version of Dune we get some incredible costume and set design. It is all wonderfully 80’s, with big hair, mesh, and lots of glittery metallics. It looks like the 80’s’ idea of the future, but it is also distinctive and (in my opinion, anyway) absolutely gorgeous. 

Reason #3- The cast is amazing

Whether you like this movie or not, there is no arguing with the cast. Our hero, Paul Atreides, is played by frequent Lynch collaborator Kyle McLachlan (who you might recognize from his star turn in Twin Peaks), cast at the very height of his wide-eyed dreaminess. The cast also features Sir Patrick Stewart, well before his iconic appearances in both Star Trek: The Next Generation and X-Men. Also, because this was the 80’s, Sting is in this movie. Why is Sting in this movie? I’m not sure, but no one can say that he didn’t give his role as a nephew of the evil Baron Harkonnen his all. 

Have you seen David Lynch’s Dune? Have you seen the new Dune movie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

(Image courtesy of "Is the new Dune adaptation a triumph? I'm the last person you should ask," by Jonathan Ross in Sight & Sound)

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