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Dune: From Print to Cinema and Beyond Opens at Cal State Fullerton

posted Oct 5, 2015, 1:05 AM by Douglas Sun   [ updated Oct 5, 2015, 12:05 PM ]
After sitting in on Kevin J. Anderson's keynote address, I wandered on down (and I do mean wandered, as Cal State Fullerton, like every CSU or UC campus I've seen, feels like it was laid out by someone who tried to use a grid plan, but tripping on acid somehow got in the way) to the Pollak Library to see the actual exhibit that Kevin had ceremonially opened with his talk.

Entitled, Dune: From Print to Cinema and Beyond, it fills an anteroom just off of the library's main entrance. The room is kind of dark even with the spotlights, so my iPhone camera actually saw some of the exhibits better than I did. Obviously, I missed the fact that I cut off part of the banner when I lined up this shot.

The exhibit is a modest thing, but thine own. It's not extensive, but if you're a Dune fan and you're in the area, it's worth a look.

Until I read the background on Cal State Fullerton's Dune 50th Anniversary celebration, I had no idea that Frank Herbert had left a trove of his papers to the school. As I will discuss in my next post, it was not the entirety of his surviving notes and other papers. but it does seem to be substantial.

Most of the display space, however, is devoted to David Lynch's problematic movie adaptation of Dune, including a wall full of what appears to be concept art. Most of it is instantly recognizable if you've seen the film. But there is also this:

I did not know that Beldar Conehead. was originally from Dune.

The "Beyond" part of the exhibit title seems to refer to several cases of merchandise, most of it tied in to the movie.

BTW, I just checked eBay, and a mint-on-card Glossu Rabban recently sold for $50. That's Glossu Rabban. Not even one of the main characters in the movie; just the guy who took his cues from Baron Harkonnen on when to laugh evilly.

Comics based on the movie, I can see. But a children's coloring book? If I had seen Lynch's Dune when I was young enough to be coloring with crayons, one look at the Guild emissary in his tank and the guy with the audio cable running through a crack in his skull would have given me nightmares for years. Heck, one look at Sting's hair would have had me waking up in a cold sweat.

Such a good time it was, playing the Dune board game with the Decipher RPG studio crew at their office after hours. The Avalon Hill edition was long out of print by then. So we used the Jeux Descartes edition, and fortunately we knew just enough French between us to manage the parts that weren't translated into English. I won as the Harkonnen, using my house atomics to blow the Shield Wall, letting the storm sweep the Emperor's troops out of Arakkeen and Carthag; at that point the Spacing Guild, played by Owen Seyler, dropped my boys into both cities, thus fulfilling the victory conditions. It was Owen's plan, but I executed my part to a tee.

But wait.... No Dune collectible card game? No Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium roleplaying game? Scandalous! A curatorial failure of the worst sort! Oh well. Copies of the RPG are selling on Amazon for upwards of $325, so I suppose picking one up for show was a lot to ask. Certainly, I wouldn't part with my copy for any price.

Anyway, here's the information page for Cal State Fullerton's Dune 50th anniversary celebration. The screening of Jodorowsky's Dune on Columbus Day is an obvious highlight, and cosplayers might want to take note of November 6. Myself, I will post again soon with more serious reflections on Dune and comments on Kevin's talk.