Created by Matt Zoller Seitz
Directed by Judith Carter
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
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Following his underground hit Eraserhead and critically acclaimed The Elephant Man, visionary filmmaker David Lynch set his sights on bringing Frank Herbert’s beloved sci-fi novel Dune to the screen. The project had already vexed directors such as Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo) and Ridley Scott (Alien). But by the early ‘80s Universal Pictures was prepared to give Lynch the keys to the kingdom – and the highest budget in the studio’s history at the time – so that he could lend his surrealistic chops to this sprawling story of feuding space dynasties. They would also hopefully be creating a “Star Wars for adults” franchise-starter.
As the hot young filmmaker commanded a cast with 42 major speaking parts as well as a crew of 1,700 (plus over 20,000 extras) on 80 sets built on 8 sound stages in Mexico, what happened next became as wild, complex, and full of intrigue as Herbert’s novel itself.
Film writer Max Evry goes behind the erratic ride of David Lynch’s Dune like never before, with a years-in-the-making oral history culled from a lineup of new interviews with the film’s stars (Kyle MacLachlan, Sean Young, Virginia Madsen, etc.), creatives, film executives, and insiders – not to mention Lynch himself.
David Lynch’s Dune initially left many filmgoers and reviewers scratching their heads, most dismissing the film upon its release. However, four decades and a big-budget remake later, Lynch’s Dune is finally poised to find its rightful place alongside the director’s other masterpieces such as Blue Velvet and Mullholland Drive.
Max Evry’s A Masterpiece in Disarray takes you back to 1984 with the deepest dive yet into the cult classic that is David Lynch’s Dune.
"A treasure trove for Dune and David Lynch aficionados. Author Max Evry spoke with dozens of actors and production personnel, and their conversations cover every possible aspect of the creative process, leaving no sandworm unturned." – Library Journal (starred review)
"Max Evry's A Masterpiece in Disarray: David Lynch's Dune spills the spice from this cult fave." – Mashable
"The definitive guide to David Lynch's Dune movie, with a wealth of new interviews." – DuneNewsNet
"Making-of books are often not much more than glorified press notes, studio-sanctioned marketing beats that don’t come close to telling the real story of what happened behind the scenes. But every once in a while, a no-holds-barred account still surfaces. And that’s where the new book about David Lynch’s Dune comes in, which at 560 pages seemingly has the scoop on everything that went into making the infamous sci-fi spectacle." – IGN
"Five stars. This hefty volume looks at the film in granular detail… It’s hard to imagine a more definitive examination of such a singular and strange film." – SFX
"The (fittingly behemothian) oral history of David Lynch’s doomed 1984 Dune. It’s hugely enjoyable to sift through the sands of this comprehensive chronicle. 4/4 stars." – Empire
"This is a book to be cherished, and one that is likely the definitive account of the making of a poorly-treated film." – The Film Stage
Max Evry has been a film journalist since 2005, serving at various times as a writer, interviewer, graphic designer, podcaster, video creator, features editor and managing editor. Past media outlets have included MTV, /Film, IGN, and Fangoria. For home video companies Arrow and Kino Lorber he has provided audio commentaries for classic and contemporary films including Flatliners, Blackhat, and best picture Oscar winner Marty.
Currently he resides in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, two daughters, and a pile of truly marvelous unsold screenplays. This is his first book.
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MZS.Press is the online arts bookstore founded by author, critic, and filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz and directed by Judith Carter. It offers new, used, signed, collectible, and rare books on film, TV, music, photography, and the visual arts. The store was launched in 2019 on a different platform and has expanded to incorporate arts books published by MZSPress's private imprint: titles currently include Seitz's The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon and Dreams of Deadwood, about the HBO Western, and Walter Chaw's A Walter Hill Film.
Our deepest wish is to promote, encourage, and distribute work by small presses, academic presses, and individuals. Extraordinary work tends to get swallowed up on giant platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The store's inventory of nearly 1000 volumes is currently in the process of being reconstructed after its relocation from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas. The titles featured here are personally selected by a group of curators and advisors, including Seitz, Carter, and an array of critics, artists, journalists, educators, publishers, and arts mavens who are known for their ability to suss out what Seitz's jazz musician dad liked to call "the good sh*t."
“Please. Have mercy. I’ve been wearing the same underwear since Tuesday.”
Matt Zoller Seitz
Critic, Author, Filmmaker, MZS Press Creator
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large and film critic of RogerEbert.com; a staff writer for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and TV has appeared in Sight and Sound, The New York Times, Salon.com, The New Republic and Rolling Stone. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine.
Seitz has written, narrated, edited or produced over a hundred hours’ worth of video essays about cinema history and style for The Museum of the Moving Image, Salon.com and Vulture, among other outlets. His five-part 2009 video essay Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style was spun off into the hardcover book The Wes Anderson Collection. This book and its follow-up, The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel were New York Times bestsellers.
Other Seitz books include the New York Times bestellers The Sopranos Sessions and Mad Men Carousel; TV (The Book), The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon, and the forthcoming The Wes Anderson Collection: The French Dispatch. He is also an interviewer, moderator, and film programmer who has curated and hosted film and TV presentations for the Museum of the Moving Image, IFC Center, San Francisco's Roxie Cinema, and other venues. He is currently working on a memoir about his marriages and a feature-length documentary about his father, jazz musician and composer Dave Zoller.
His hobbies include exotic dancing, moonwalking, and affixing masking tape labels to every food item in the refrigerator, including eggs. He has the attention span of a gnat.