A Masterpiece in Disarray: David Lynch’s Dune; An Oral History

1984 Publishing. Sept. 2023. 560p. ISBN 9781948221290. $29.99. FILM
David Lynch’s 1984 Dune is simultaneously one of the most beloved and maligned sci-fi films ever made. Film journalist and debut author Evry, clearly a massive fan, has crafted a thorough exploration of this infamous movie. The book blends extensive new interviews into narrative chapters. The oral histories that follow make this work truly special. Evry spoke with dozens of actors and production personnel, and their conversations cover every possible aspect of the creative process, leaving no sandworm unturned. There are fascinating sections on design concepts, casting, fraught filming conditions in Mexico, massive sets, costumes, visual effects, soundtracks, merchandising, the initial critical reception, and the film’s enduring legacy. A terrific highlight compares controversial differences between Frank Herbert’s novel of the same name and the film. More than 500 pages, this book takes a deep dive into Dune, but the biggest takeaway is simple: despite any acknowledged weaknesses, the film was based on the most-popular science-fiction novel of all time and directed by one of cinema’s greatest visionaries.
VERDICT The story behind Lynch’s Dune is both unique and indicative of the struggles faced when mounting an epic film production. A treasure trove for Dune and Lynch aficionados.
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