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Tuesday 2 November 2021


Back in 1984 David Lynch attempted to film Frank Herbert's novel Dune, an epic science fiction story set on a distant planet which is entirely desert where the most valuable substance in the universe is a consciousness expanding spice. Among the cast were a young Kyle McLachlan, Virginia Madsen, Patrick Stewart and Max von Sydow. It was also one of Sting's big adventures in acting and if that weren't enough came with a soundtrack by Toto. It bombed, critically and commercially. One of the reviews said that 'several of the characters in Dune are psychic, which puts them in the unique position of being able to understand what goes on in the movie'. I haven't seen it for many years but I think it was a film which only really made any sense if you had read the novel and for those that hadn't it left them with a lot of work to do. It's been remade by Denis Villeneuve, is in cinemas now and has been much reviewed much more positively than the 1984 by both critics and fans. I haven't seen it yet but would like to. 

The 1984 film's soundtrack was almost entirely by Toto except for one piece of music from Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. In some ways sci fi soundtracks are the perfect place for Eno's ambient synth music. 

Prophecy Theme

If you want more, there's a full length, twelve minute version of Prophecy Theme on Youtube. Amusingly, when you type Dune 1984 into Google below the first search returns in the People Also Ask box, the first suggestion is 'is Dune the worst movie ever?' Lynch was disappointed with the final cut, having been instructed to cut the three hour running time down to a more manageable two and a quarter hours. He ran out of money for the FX too and ended up with something he wasn't' happy with but which had his name on it and disowned it. Three different versions have been screened at different times or in different places. Eno's Prophecy Theme at least is something that survives whatever version or cut is being shown.  


Jake Sniper said...

Toto doing the soundtrack will always be weird, even though it's q David Lynch.

Swiss Adam said...

I know... as if Sting weren't enough!

Echorich said...

Seen them both now, and I'll stick with what Lynch was attempting. I think it pays to see have seen the Lynch before seeing the Villeneuve version. Both are visually stunning. Both are obvious products of their respective directors. I thought the Lynch film tried to cram too much in and then by getting edited down, was hurt by that same decision. The Villeneuve film took a really long time to get where it gets to in the end and is obviously...part 1. Thankfully, years ago The Lord Of The Rings prepared me for a film that pulls you in for amost hours and then leaves you hanging...