In 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, New Age philosopher Daniel Pinchbeck wrote,
The modern fragmentation of knowledge into many disciplines, each with its own specialist discourse, gives us belief, or illusion, that we cannot attain an integrated understanding of our reality.
Not only does this statement underline the substrate of our future, but in a way speculates the bizarre far-future of David Lynch’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune.
Dune starts with a princess, then an alien fetus-monster in a dolphin tank, then carries on the confusion for a while until the fantastic visuals in set design and sweeping alien landscapes that pervade this kaleidoscopic surreal-fantasy space opera seep through a subtle charm that takes hold midway and sits you quite delighted in this strange glee. It’s like a combination of Blade Runner, Flash Gordon, and 2001: A Space Odyssey after some bad acid on Tatooine via pre-War Imperial Russia.
It’s complicated and utterly alien with heroes and factions that concern themselves with obtaining and controlling “the spice melange.” A consciousness expanding super drug that can also “fold space” for “travel without moving.” This is what makes it science fiction upon the metaphysics.
Imagine, our world, ten thousand years from now, when the expansion of consciousness has progressed so far that it’s all that matters (like Rene Laloux’s Fantastic Plant), and somewhere out there we discover the only planet in the universe with a power plant that can not only expand our consciousness to higher dimensions but give us unbound space travel and immortality (Yes, spice is life eternal!) That’s what Dune is. A speculation of humanity’s darker self at the tail end of our current expansion of consciousness. An oxymoron, of course, but fuck it.
As an aspiring screenwriter, what grabbed me the most was that the themes of consciousness expansion, surreal visuals, bizarre dream sequences and an awe in each character that Lovecraft would be proud of was brought together by threading through the breathy thought-bubble dialogue (read: internal narration which flicks on for a character’s reaction), which broke so many rules of screenwriting, to blanket the film in this ethereal quality.
It’s a technique more suited to Silver Age comic books, but actually kind of worked here. I found myself rather intrigued by who thought what next, especially when within the story the pedestrian dialogue is full heartedly empowered through the dramatics of capable actors, the thought-dialogue was like pepper on the steak.
If it were stripped back, however, and singularly focused to only occur in regards to thoughts on the prophecy of the super being, then I think this would have worked much better, adding a bit more depth through the camera shots.
If you want more information on the current expansion of global consciousness, please read this insightful article by Kingsley L. Dennis, PhD: http://realitysandwich.com/219968/endgame-of-an-era/