Dune

[Updated: June 13,1999]

Dune 1

Sting plays animalistic villain Feyd-Rautha in David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s multimillion-selling epic sci-fi novel, Dune. The year is 10,191; forces from around the universe are vying for control of the spice melange—a substance shrouded in mystery—which extends life, expands consciousness, allows for convenient intergalactic travel, and exists only on the planet Arrakis (aka Dune). This is pretty much all that is clear in the film’s labyrinthine plot.

Director Lynch has made a career out of depicting the bizarre. His best known works—Blue Velvet (1986), Wild at Heart (1990), and the cult television show Twin Peaks—focus, in particular, on the dark underbelly of seemingly tranquil small-town America. Although different in scope and content, Dune has all the requisite Lynch trademarks: dialogue that verges on non sequitur, physical deformities ad nauseam, and thinly disguised erotic symbolism (hello, giant worms!). The director himself makes a cameo appearance as a besieged spice harvester.

While Dune featured internationally recognized veteran actors, such as Jose Ferrer, Max von Sydow, and Silvana Mangano, and future American television stars, such as Patrick "Captain Picard" Stewart and Kyle "Agent Dale Cooper" MacLachlan, the movie’s marketing campaign focused on a relatively inexperienced actor, whose scant on-screen appearances total approximately ten minutes. Yes, those were the heady Synchronicity days and Sting basked in the promotional spotlight. And speaking of "scant," Sting’s performance can be condensed into two words: flying underpants. The memorable scene in which Feyd emerges from slumber clad only in his signature intergalactic briefs is a Calvin Klein moment straight from the future.

Dune 2

Universal (USA)

PG-13

Color

140 minutes

Directed by: David Lynch

Produced by: Raffaella De Laurentiis (Dino De LaurentiisProductions)

Written by: David Lynch

Based on the novel by Frank Herbert

Cast:

Lady Jessica Francesca Annis
Piter De Vries Brad Dourif
Padisha Emperor Shaddam IV Jose Ferrer
Thufir Hawat Freddie Jones
Paul Atreides Kyle MacLachlan
Reverend Mother Ramallo Silvana Mangano
Baron Vladimir Harkonnen Kenneth McMillan
Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam Sian Phill
Duke Leto Atreides Juergen Prochnow
Gurney Halleck Patrick Stewart
Feyd-Rautha Sting
Doctor Wellington Yueh Dean Stockwell
Doctor Kynes Max Von Sydow
Chani Sean Young

Also:

Cinematography Freddie Francis
Editing Antony Gibbs
Music Toto
Art Direction Pierluigi Basile
Art Direction Benjamin Fernandez
Production Design Anthony Masters
Costume Design Bob Ringwood
Makeup Giannetto De Rossi
Special Effects Charles L. Finance
Special Creature Effects Carlo Rambaldi
Special Mechanical Effects Kit West
Sound Alan Splet

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