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.

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.

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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.