Probably the most flawed addition to the otherwise illustrious filmography of David Lynch, the 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi masterpiece Dune fails to capture the magnificence of the novel. With another exciting adaptation by Denis Villeneuve on the way, Dune has entered the mainstream consciousness again and audiences are eager to see whether the new project will live up to the beauty of the source material.
Lynch himself admitted that he shouldn’t have undertaken a Dune adaptation, claiming that he had other offers to consider as well. “I started selling out on Dune. Looking back, it’s no one’s fault but my own,” he once said. “I probably shouldn’t have done that picture, but I saw tons and tons of possibilities for things I loved, and this was the structure to do them in.”
Francesca Annis, the English actress who played the iconic part of Lady Jessica in Lynch’s Dune, recently reflected on the entire experience of working with the revered filmmaker: “My experience of working on Dune was that if David Lynch had been able to make his own film, it would have been brilliant, but unfortunately Dino oversaw every single tiny thing. Dino was already thinking about the video sales.”
Adding, “David had wanted to make the scenes very dark, all the underworlds very dark and look very sinister. Dino wouldn’t allow it. It had to be lit brightly so that it would transfer well to video, where I think at that time things went down a shade. David and DoP Freddie Francis were constantly being hamstrung and I don’t think David made the film he wanted to make.”
She also confirmed that Lynch was a genius, despite the mishaps on Dune: “Anyone can shoot a film because technology is at such a high standard now, you can just point the camera somewhere. But to actually know about lenses takes years and years and it takes a real eye to know how to draw your audience into a person or into a scene, as we know very well from David’s films that came after and indeed before. Eraserhead is completely brilliant.”
See the original trailer, below.