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    "A fast, complex, exhilarating roadster ride through history and time.... Kino is an intoxicating Euro-brew, written with enormous skill and dedication." — Frederick Barthelme

    "Jürgen Fauth's deft mashup of genre and historical period is both a full-throttle literary thriller of ideas and a contemplative examination of film and fascism. Kino is a debut of great intellectual  force."– Teddy Wayne

    "A surprising alternative history. Kino brings the golden age of German cinema to light with loving, sometimes gritty, detail and great precision." – Neal Pollack, author of Jewball.

    "A delirious melange of conspiracy, magic, sex, history, bad behavior, and cinema, Kino is a stellar entertainment, and Jürgen Fauth is a writer of rare, sinister imagination." – Owen King, author of Reenactment

    "A light-hearted romp that leads straight into darkness and back through the shadows on the wall."– Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

    "Movie nuts arise! A happy and felicitous debut."– Terese Svoboda

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Dune: Extended Edition

The arcana that led to this 177 minute recut of David Lynch’s scifi adaptation are somewhat hard to follow, but apparently, nobody’s too happy with it. Lynch took his name off, and the fans are waiting for some sort of mythical four-hour version that was only screened once. I haven’t seen the 137 minute original since it came out, but those 40 minutes couldn’t fix or ruin what’s wrong with this movie. The wood-paneled gothic future production design is pretty sweet, some of the imagery is vintage Lynch, but the special effects are awful and after a decent setup, Dune unravels in the second and third acts.

Frank Herbert fans won’t like hearing this, but part of the problem is the source material. What’s great about Dune is the world building–Herbert’s universe is fascinating, but the story itself, Paul’s hero’s journey, isn’t all that interesting. It’s rendered as a series of tests: a knife fight with Patrick Steward, a witch with a poison dart, a flying poison dart, drinking the water of life, riding a giant sand worm, etc etc, and finally another knife fight with, of all people, Sting. (The sequels are stuffed with great ideas, too, but almost all of the plots are awful.) In Dune, everything after the Duke’s death feels like denouement.

And since I’m still consulting it daily, here’s what Lynch says about Dune in Catching the Big Fish:

When I made Dune, I didn’t have final cut. It was a huge, huge sadness, because I felt I had sold out and the film was a failure at the box office on top of that. If you do what you believe in, and you have a failure, that’s one thing: you can still live with yourself. But if you don’t, it’s dying twice. It’s very, very painful. [...] The filmmaker should decide on every single element, every single world, every single sound, every single thing going down that highway through time. Otherwise, it won’t hold together. The film may suck, but at least you made it suck on your own. So to me, Dune was a huge failure. I knew I was getting into trouble when I agreed not to have final cut. I was hoping it would work out, but it didn’t. The end result is not what I wanted, and that’s a sadness.

Dune: Extended Edition. Alan Smithee, 1984. **

[tags]film, david lynch, 2 stars, alan smithee, scifi, frank herbert, dune, final cut, kyle maclachlan, brad dourif, virginia madsen, jurgen prochnow, toto, brian eno, heros journey[/tags]

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