Dune (1984)

In the far future, all interstellar trade depends on a spice found only on the desert world of Arrakis. When Paul Atreides and his family are sent to govern the planet, the stage is set for a tale of betrayal, murder and prophecy that will reveal the planet's secrets...

"Mammoth, unwieldy and completely ahead of its time." - Film4

"Derided, disowned, and debated endlessly, David Lynch’s weird venture into big budget sci-fi spectacle is a most fascinating disaster of genre making.

"On a storytelling level Frank Herbert’s book, a thinly disguised allegory of the Arab control of oil supply, proved far too intricate and unwieldy to cohere into a sensible film. And Lynch wasn’t about to worry about it, wrapping the film in swathes of religious symbolism. Even lovers of the book’s dense arcana — a universe of squabbling aristocratic families, mystical witches, messiahs, and emperors all vying for control of the necessary spice — found it difficult to follow.

"Yet, on another level, it isn’t without artistic merit. Story was never going to concern Lynch for long (making him a foolish choice for director), but he lends Herbert’s crowded mythos with its low-level fusion of the hi-tech and the Biblical, a vivid design. From the red-stained deserts (it was shot in Mexico) to the industrial horror of Harkonnen, to the great worms, giant phallic beasts coursing through Dune’s outback, the film has a surreal grace that draws you in. And the characters, as is Lynch’s wont, are rich and wild and amongst his funniest.

"Thus, it is hard to truly punish Dune. As a piece of outrageous sci-fi art, thrilling to its own excess, it is far more of a piece with Lynch’s idiosyncratic career, than he has made out." - Empire Magazine


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