Director: David Lynch
So, a friend of mine posted this on Facebook earlier today:
This ia recut of David Lynch’s Dune, carried out by a brave chap called Michael Warren. Amazingly, it’s been up on Vimeo now for quite a long time apparently without copping an infringement notice or anything, but I’ve only just found it. Basically, Warren’s taken the available DVD versions of the original theatrical cut, the extended TV cut, and various deleted scenes, and produced his own, slightly over three-hour edit of the thing. The net result is what might be called an eclectic text, with some rough edges, but in fairness to him, Warren was only working with the stuff he could get on DVD, not the actual original elements (which I presume Lynch still has no interest in going back to). I will give him many points for effort.
NOW… I have reviewed Dune here before, and if you can’t be bothered clicking that link (and why the hell would you), let me quote the opening words: “Almost unmitigated dogshit”. Yeah, I, er, didn’t like it much. As I noted then, I’d found the TV version baffling whenever I saw that (late 80s? I no longer remember) and I wasn’t much more enlightened by the original theatrical version. I sat down with Mr Warren’s version, therefore, hoping he’d somehow pulled an adequate film out of the wreckage.
And guess what?
IT’S STILL DOGSHIT!
ONLY EVEN MORE SO!
EVEN MORE JOYLESS, EVEN MORE OPPRESSIVE AND EVEN LONGER THAN BEFORE!
HARDER TO FOLLOW THAN EVER!
NOT JUST “ALMOST” UNMITIGATED DOGSHIT, BUT COMPLETELY UNMITIGATED DOGSHIT!
I have come, at last, to the conclusion that there is nothing that can save Lynch’s Dune from being anything other than dogshit. If you could rebuild the entire thing, sound and vision, from scratch (assuming every individual bit of sound and vision is still available), the end result would still be one of the worst films ever made. Cutting out the infernal voiceovers would be a start, but it would still be completely awful.
I hate this film now in a way I don’t think I did before. And yet I don’t blame Michael Warren for this, because the film isn’t his fault. His edit was a bold attempt to turn shit into strawberry jam that… just… totally failed because the stuff he had to work with was no good. I can’t agree him that Dune is unfairly maligned, either; if anything, I’m now convinced it’s not maligned nearly enough. And, frankly, I am now afraid to read the book as a result of tonight’s viewing…