I feel as though, in the interest of forthrightness, I ought to confess something. There's been a lot of talk of Dune lately, both the miniseries and the David Lynch film, and I have made some comments which, while technically accurate, may perhaps have been misleading. I have said that it is a terrible movie. It is. Every minute of it. And especially every minute of the extended 3 hour version, which I have seen.

It is a terrible movie, and yet I like it.

Not for reasons discussed earlier; I do not enjoy it on the level of kitsch, it is not a "so bad it's good" sort of movie. I enjoy it because it is nostalgic. When I was a kid, growing up in DC, my parents occasionally went on dates and left me at the house of one of their colleagues, Eileen Marty. Typically my entertainment on these evenings was a movie. As I recall, Dr. Marty owned two movies: Dune and Oliver Twist. Most times, I chose Dune. As a kid, I remember actually really liking Dune. It was science fiction, and I liked Star Wars. Plus, at that age, I didn't really follow plots much. I knew what was going on in a scene, but I didn't really try to put it together into anything larger, which is probably the best way to watch Dune. That is to say, I had no less idea what the hell was going on than anyone else who's watched the movie, but I didn't really think of this as a problem. And the visual design for the movie is pretty stunning. For years the scenes in it, the Guild navigator meeting with the Emperor, the shield fight between Paul and Duncan, the worm eating the harvester, the Baron Harkonnen pulling that one guy's heartplug out then flying around and laughing maniacally, have been implanted in my brain.

So this means that, growing up, I got a steady diet of David Lynch Sci-Fi weirdness. Which probably says more about the development of my tastes than I care to admit.

UPDATE: It also bears mentioning that without Dune the David Lynch movie there would not have been Dune the movie tie-in computer game. Dune the movie tie-in computer game was an adventure game of little merit, competently executed and utterly forgettable, but it in turn spawned Dune II. Dune II was a landmark computer game, insofar as it created the Real Time Strategy genre, still popular to this day (there are some who argue that the first Real Time Strategy game was Herzog Zwei, but I summarily dismiss this argument. While Herzog Zwei was technically the first game that had enough Real Time Strategy elements to call it a Real Time Strategy game in retrospect, it was a commercial flop that had no real influence on the industry).

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on October 2, 2005 3:28 AM.

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