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Movie. 1984. David Lynch
The production of David Lynch’s Dune was, by all accounts, a fiasco. It was a massive project, wildly over budget, too much in every way, cut short when the money ran out. The final movie feels like half of a movie, glued together with cheesy voice over or when it isn’t just totally unglued. Roger Ebert, a critic who was good at meeting movies where they were, called it “incomprehensible, ugly, unstructured, pointless”.
The frustrating thing about Dune is that it is clearly made of truly great pieces and parts. It is full of breathtaking stills. It moves through interesting ideas. It is full of surprising performances.
There is a myth of a longer, David Lynch cut, that puts everything together. We’ve seen later David Lynch movies that decline to come together as narrative and still work. There is dream Dune, a perfect Dune, somewhere over the horizon, and the print we have is just an echo.