LWLies 90: The Dune issue – On sale now!

Pack your stillsuits, we’re going to Arrakis for our special 90th edition dedicated to Denis Villeneuve’s Dune.


David Jenkins


Cover art

Lola Beltrán

Prior to embarking on this issue, I’d never had the pleasure of tackling Frank Herbert’s vaunted sci-fi doorstop, ‘Dune’, but thought if there was any occasion to tick that planet-sized box, then the release of a big, new movie adaptation was it. I was about half-way in when the lure of this story became crystal clear – that is, why people have obsessed over it for nearly half a century, and also why it has been something of an untapped goldmine when it comes to big screen adaptations.

The story so far: Chilean cine-sorcerer Alejandro Jodorowsky discovered that his reach exceeded his grasp in his wild, eye-wateringly expensive attempt to film Herbert’s rich tome, while David Lynch delivered an enjoyably gaudy rendition of this laconic space opera in 1987 that ended up being sliced and diced by his producers and led the filmmaker to all but disown his work.

And now we’re back once more, as ‘Dune’ superfan Denis Villeneuve has earned enough tokens in Hollywood to fulfil a childhood fantasy and make a modern epic that does justice to Herbert’s densely layered and politically ripe narrative. This new issue of LWLies – our 90th! – jumps into a purring ’thopter and takes an aerial tour of the godforsaken plains of the desert planet Arrakis, with Timothée Chalamet’s spiritual messiah-in-waiting, Paul Attredes, as our guide. It’s a magazine for both the battle-hardened Dune-o-phile, and any newbies looking for an entry point into this enthrallingly complex world.

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On the cover

If you hold Lola Beltrán’s extraordinary cover illustration up to the light, you’ll get a little surprise, as this issue comes with a bonus twinkle. The orange glow of the spice melange – the most valuable material in the Duneiverse – was the inspiration for the colour route of this cover, and the concept draws on Beltrán’s love of mid-century sci-fi imagery while also keeping a foot in the realms of the modern. The duel layer effect is a subtle hint at the man that this boy is set to become.

Illustrators in this issue include Alex Fine, Adriana Bellet, Emma Balebela, Nick Taylor and Rumbidzai Savanhu.

In this issue

Enter the Duneiverse
Tom Huddleston offers a whistle-stop tour of Arrakis through the ages, and the various iterations of Frank Herbert’s beloved book.

The Sandman
Anton Bitel talks big screens and small gestures with Quebec’s modernist sci-fi maestro, Denis Villeneuve.

Farewell My Concubine
Leila Latif meets one of Hollywood’s most wanted, Rebecca Ferguson, to chat about progressive interpretations of 1960s characters.

Timothée Chalamet in Five Acts
Philippa Snow deconstructs the image of the accidental idol across five of his recent starring roles.

Arrakis Rising
Dune production designer Patrice Vermette discusses his dream mission.

Desert Movies: A Taxonomy
A short, sharp round-up of the deserts in which filmmakers love to make movies.

Go See a Star War
David Jenkins explores the alterno space race to cash in on the surprise success of George Lucas’ Star Wars.

Woman of the Dunes
The authors of a new book on Studio Ghibli ask whether 1984’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind has any link to ‘Dune’.

They Shoot, He Scores
Lillian Crawford talks to film composer extraordinaire Hans Zimmer about how he draws on the classics of the past.

Threads #19
Christina Newland looks at the diverse iconography of the veil in her regular column on clothes and movies.

In the back section

Hannah Strong meets the hard-bopping brothers who have supplied music and lyrics to Leos Carax’s Annette, and who also reveal their formative run-ins with the great Jacques Tati.

Ulrike Ottinger
Caitlin Quinlan profiles this unique German filmmaker in tandem with the release of a new documentary about her formative years, Paris Calligrammes.

Cary Joji Fukunaga
The director of Bond 25, No Time To Die, talks Charles Bramesco through the process of how an industrious indie director scores such a prestigious gig.

Jeymes Samuel
Rōgan Graham meets the director of the forthcoming politically-infused action western, The Harder They Fall.

Marley Morrison
Josh Slater-Williams chats to the director of Sweetheart, a British gay romcom with a twist.

Bette Davis
Ahead of a major retrospective at London’s BFI Southbank, Soma Ghosh deconstructs the queer appeal of one of Hollywood’s grandest dames.

Journeys: The Cannes Film Festival
Hannah Strong reports on a vintage crop of films, a great Palme d’Or winner, and lots of time spent spitting in a test tube.

In review

Leos Carax’s Annette
Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch
Liesl Tommy’s Respect
Sean Durkin’s The Nest
Ayten Amin’s Souad
Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy’s Rose Plays Julie
Darragh Carey and Bertrand Desrochers’ A Brixton Tale
Nia DaCosta’s Candyman
Ulrika Ottinger’s Paris Calligrammes
Anne Zohra Berrached’s Copilot
Sam Hobkinson’s Misha and the Wolves
Marley Morrison’s Sweetheart
Michael Sarnoski’s Pig
Mark Cousins’ The Story of Looking
Jeanette Nordahl’s Wildland

LWLies 90 is available to order online now from our online shop. Become a Member or subscribe today to make sure you never miss an issue.

Published 26 Aug 2021

Tags: Denis Villeneuve Dune Frank Herbert Timothée Chalamet

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About Little White Lies

Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, we’ve been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.