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.Order Your Copy
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rōgan Graham meets the director of the forthcoming politically-infused action western, The Harder They Fall.
Josh Slater-Williams chats to the director of Sweetheart, a British gay romcom with a twist.
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.
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
Published 26 Aug 2021
In celebration of Kelly Reichardt, one of America’s greatest working filmmakers, and her extraordinary new film.
Brighten up your year with our illustrated celebration of Lee Isaac Chung’s charming immigrant fable.