Welcome to Oliver Harper’s Retrospectives & Reviews. Like us all at FTN, Oliver LOVES cinema, and like us, he has passions that not everyone shares, but he feels obligated to put the word out. This week Oliver looks at Dune… we’ll let him tell you the aims of these videos himself. Over to you, Oliver…
Every week FTN will be hosting videos looking back at classic films from the 80s and early 90s…
The videos will be a retrospective look back at a particular film covering all sides of the production and discussing how the film turned out. Many people on the net generally like to discuss films with a negative attitude and take joy in bashing films for comedic effect which does work but often many of the reviews aren’t researched well or films are taken out of context for the purpose of making a joke and I feel websites such as youtube have become over-saturated with these types of videos, I wanted to do something different.
“Often you come across films with no extras available on the DVD and you want to know more about it, so with some of the upcoming videos I will be discussing films that don’t get the respect they deserve or the ones that aren’t as bad as people think…”
DUNE ( 1984 )
The year 1984 saw the release of the epic sci-fi DUNE; it was one of the biggest flops of the 80s.
Based on the best-selling novel from Frank Herbert in 1965, studios tried throughout the 70s to bring the novel to the big screen but due to budget reasons and creative differences things never past the pre-production stage. Dino De Laurentis picked up the rights and asked David Lynch to direct after Ridley Scott left the project and David agreed, even though he wasn’t a fan of science fiction and hadn’t read the book at that point.
Lynch took on the massive task of adapting the novel which some had claimed was unfilmable. He spent the next three and half years working on it. With a huge budget of $47 million, the movie turned out to a confusing mess. Originally Lynch set out to make a three hour epic but the studio forced him to make cuts and took control of the final theatrical release. David Lynch was so unhappy he has distanced himself from the film due to not having final say on the 1984 cut.
DUNE is a guilty pleasure to many people due to it looking absolutely stunning and having an incredible soundtrack. The movie is a masterpiece of production design but unfortunately it’s very hard to make full sense of the story they are trying to tell. Universal tried to rectify that problem with the extended TV cut but many fans felt it was clumsily put together.
With its many faults – and there are many – it still retains a huge fan base, mostly down to its visual style and its beautiful soundtrack, if you haven’t seen DUNE or felt it was a confusing mess maybe this video will encourage to seek it out once more or for the first time.