At the end of this year, December 18th I believe to be exact, we are getting a new film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s iconic 1965 science fiction novel Dune. While there have been TV adaptations for both Dune and Children of Dune – not to mention a legendary failed attempt to bring it to the big screen by Alexandro Jodorowsky – it was only David Lynch who was able to successfully bring the the first book to the screen in 1984. I was a mere 12 years old at the time Dune played at the Razorback Theater in my neck of the woods and I can honestly say that I had no clue the movie was based on a book. My Father and myself were further confused when the box office attendant handed us a double-sided sheet of information with our tickets – known as the “Dune Terminology” sheet – that had 37 terms for the audience to learn before the film began. While we waited for the house lights to dim and Dune to start a couple of things happened – my Father’s reaction at the terminology sheet was not only quite hostile but his interest in seeing this new science fiction movie evaporated quicker than water in a malfunctioning stillsuit on the planet of Arrakis. I had the exact opposite effect – I had never been given something like this before seeing a film and I just kept reading the terminology list over and over until the movie began. I can tell you that while Lynch who also wrote the screenplay most assuredly took liberties with Herbert’s source material… it felt like the most serious science fiction movie I had ever seen.
Granted that soundtrack by Toto and Brian Eno also helped to hammer home this was the most serious as well as epic science fiction film I had ever seen. 137 minutes later I walked out of the auditorium totally blown away – just gobsmacked at what I had seen – with my Father just complaining during the entire drive back home at how none of it made any sense. I did my level best to attempt to explain the film – perhaps at that young age I was just literally accepting everything at face value? It would be about ten more years before I finally got my hands on Frank Herbert’s Dune and I cherish it much like I do J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings or George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards series of books. And while I do believe the source material is better I still quite enjoy David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation – making sure that I get to watch it once or twice a year.
Over the years I have heard that the shooting of Dune wasn’t the easiest thing for David Lynch – I saw in an interview once he called it a nightmare. From watching interviews with some of the key members of the cast I’ve heard them mention that money ran out forcing the Director to sacrifice his vision for the film – especially in regards to special effects. Which brings us around the horn to this Super 8 look on-set at Dune – one that was uploaded and is narrated by Sean Young herself. The real joy of the video in my opinion is getting a chance to see many of the cast and crew enjoying themselves – such as Max von Sydow, Sting, Patrick Stewart, Francesca Annis, Jurgen Prochnow, David Lynch, Kyle MacLachlan, and of course Sean Young to name a few.
For what it is worth, in the comments section of this video which was uploaded back in 2010 – the actress mentions that she has about 30 more minutes of footage. I hope that someday she will have the opportunity to share it with us fans of the 1984 film – but I am extremely grateful she has shared even this brief look back to 1983.