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New Dune Movie (2021?) and assorted melange

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  • New Dune Movie (2021?) and assorted melange

    Even though it's not due until Oct 1, 2021, it seems a good idea to make a place for discussion of the upcoming Dune movie as well as any and all things Dune.
    From MM's rather low opinion of the book, to Lynch's or SyFy's previous screen adaptation efforts, to the Kumquat Haagendasz of National Lampoon's Doon, the discussion is open.

    Note: since the latest Dune effort has already resulted in political debate, I request any comments that veer into the territory of Reasoned Debate and Activism abide by the rules of that sub-forum.
    Last edited by Heresiologist; 11-08-2020, 10:13 AM.

  • #2
    Thought I'd start the proceedings, by making sure everybody knows about the 1983 David Lynch and Frank Herbert publicity interview, which is collected in 6 parts on Youtube. Here are the first two installments:
    Last edited by Heresiologist; 11-08-2020, 10:19 AM.

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    • #3
      I still think it would have been amazing if Alejandro Jodorowsky had been able to realize his vision of Dune on film. H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, Moebius, Dan O'Bannon, Orson Welles, Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger, Udo Kier, Pink Floyd and Magma (just to name a few of the incredible talent involved with the movie). Fortunately there is an excellent documentary about the doomed film project...

      https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1935156/
      "He found a coin in his pocket, flipped it. She called: 'Incubus!'
      'Succubus,' he said. 'Lucky old me.'" - Michael Moorcock The Final Programme

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      • #4
        I have been meaning to track down the Jodorowsky documentary but it keep slipping my mind. Part of it is, I think, that the docu came out around the time the pre-production rumors for Villeneuve's DUNE were first starting in the rumor mills so I have more interested in what may be coming rather than what might have been.

        I remain cautiously optimistic about the forthcoming effort and hope they remain true to the spirit of the tale.
        "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
        --Thomas a Kempis

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        • #5
          Originally posted by EverKing View Post
          I have been meaning to track down the Jodorowsky documentary but it keep slipping my mind. Part of it is, I think, that the docu came out around the time the pre-production rumors for Villeneuve's DUNE were first starting in the rumor mills so I have more interested in what may be coming rather than what might have been.

          I remain cautiously optimistic about the forthcoming effort and hope they remain true to the spirit of the tale.
          I kind of think "Jodorowsky's Lost Dune" is part of the wider Dune canon, and thought the documentary was quite interesting and entertaining. It certainly works overtime at making the film to be the greatest thing that never was.

          I'm dubious, though. For one thing, the fantastic assemblage of talents lined up to work on the film seem like way more cats than Jodorowsky could wrangle for the time required to film his (14 hour, if I remember correctly) vision. It seems more likely it would have been a production plagued by casting and crew dropouts.

          More personally, Sante Sangre is the only Jodorowsky film that I've found compelling, and it is a much later work. El Topo and Holy Mountain, which are what he had completed before tackling Dune, had moments of interest, and maybe even some aspects of greatness, but I also thought they had stretches that turned them into real slogs to watch. This gives me little confidence his Dune would have been the artistic triumph the documentary proclaims.

          Finally, if remaining true to the spirit of the tale is important, Jodorowsky seemed to have no interest in that at all. It's been a while since I saw the doc, but it's stuck in my head that it seemed like he never read the book and was hellbent on just using the it as a springboard for presenting his own idiosyncratic views. Which, to be fair, might have had glorious moments. But I suspect, for Herbert, the results would have been on the order of Stephen King's opinion of Kubrick's The Shining times a thousand, or, to put it in Jodorowsky's terms, one very bad acid trip.

          Anyway, I'm cautiously optimistic about the forthcoming film as well. So far, the greatest indicator that I'll enjoy it comes from my daughter's excitement to tell me about this awesome trailer for this awesome looking movie (with Zendaya!) that's coming out that we should see. If I see it with her and she likes it, I will probably get carried along by her enthusiasm. I suppose she works on my movie experience emotions a bit like an untrained Bene Gesserit, or a human Weirding Module. 😉
          Last edited by Heresiologist; 11-10-2020, 11:29 PM.

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          • #6
            From what I have read about Jodorowsky's plan for Dune, I am prone to agree with your assessment. My admittedly limited understanding of the project leads me to believe it was pretty much doomed from the start. Even if production had started, it seems highly unlikely it would have finished and even if it had I get the sense that it would have been a sensory journey through Jodorowsky's (and Gieger's and Dali's, etc) mind(s) more than a true adaptation of Herbert's vision.

            That is actually part of what excites me about Villeneuve's Dune; being a lifelong fan of the original material, much as Peter Jackson was for LotR, I think he will remain more faithful to Herbert's tale than we've seen before. SyFy (nee Sci-Fi) did a fairly faithful adaptation with their miniseries c. 2000 but it suffered from production value and uneven on-screen talent. I believe the forthcoming effort will correct both of those.

            It is great to see/hear of kids being excited by it! My middle boy is excited to see it but that owes more to him wanting involvement in anything I do than any true attraction on his part--really, I think my kids want to see it more to understand why I am so excited by it than because it holds any particular interest to them. I have a suspicion, however, that once they see it they will like it and the older kids, at least, will appreciate the deeper levels of it.
            Last edited by EverKing; 11-12-2020, 06:30 AM.
            "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
            --Thomas a Kempis

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            • #7
              I do think that the Jodorowsky who did Sante Sangre could have made something fantastic, though orthogonal to the novel, out of Dune. The El Topo, Holy Mountain Jodorowsky was still waiting for the pathway to be revealed.

              Originally posted by EverKing View Post
              It is great to see/hear of kids being excited by it! My middle boy is excited to see it but that owes more to him wanting involvement in anything I do than any true attraction on his part--really, I think my kids want to see it more to understand why I am so excited by it than because it holds any particular interest to them. I have a suspicion, however, that once they see it they will like it and the older kids, at least, will appreciate the deeper levels of it.
              It was rather pleasing that she came to me about this on her own. And I remember now that the initial excitement was centred on the worm not Zendaya.

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              • #8
                I've been reacquainting myself with the novel and the following seemed topical:
                My father once told me that respect for the truth comes close to being the basis for all morality. “Something cannot emerge from nothing,” he said. This is profound thinking if you understand how unstable “the truth” can be.
                —from “Conversations with Muad’Dib” by the Princess Irulan*
                Besides that I'll just mention that the last time I discussed Dune with somebody face to face, I was told that they'd tried really hard to read it, but it was just too boring and they gave up. Also, the social mores were just too old style for them. I ended up making a list of old SF&F that might work better. In return I got a list of newer fantasy works to read to my daughter.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
                  Besides that I'll just mention that the last time I discussed Dune with somebody face to face, I was told that they'd tried really hard to read it, but it was just too boring and they gave up. Also, the social mores were just too old style for them.
                  The social mores may be a tad old fashioned but I always got the impression it was intended that way. It is, after all, set against what is in many respects a Medieval backdrop. I cannot speak for Herbert but I can certainly believe that he deliberately wound the clock back on society in many ways in a effort to show the decadence of long stagnation (which becomes even more important by Children of Dune and the introduction of the Golden Path).

                  As for it being boring, I always take such criticisms with a grain of salt. I have known people who will say Such-and-Such-a-Book is boring or bloated then belabor hours on the merits of Infinite Jest or anything by James Fennimore Cooper. Someone may find the opening of Dune to be dreadfully slow but then celebrate the brilliance of Lord of the Rings. Such arguments I find beyond weak and I struggle to accept such judgments. They say "boring" but it is the wrong criticism. What they mean to say is that the subject or topic of the book was simply uninteresting for them. In the later case, especially, it is easy to see how such a person would prefer classic high fantasy to science fiction with a few fantasy elements--simply a difference in taste. On the other hand, you have people who are at least consistent in their criticism of boring and dislike anything that isn't a 1990's B-roll Action Film in book form. All the pulp "mysteries" and crime books spring to mind. Dan Brown, John Sandford, James Lee Burke, Steve Martini...even to a lesser extent authors like John Grishom or David Baldacci, or the pulp (D&D) fantasies and (Star Trek/Wars) SFs. Readers who tackle modern pulp with aplomb but consistently resist anything a little more unique, structured, or subtle, and are consistent in their argument at the very least have a leg to stand on. I can at least respect their resistance to a work such as Dune.

                  "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                  --Thomas a Kempis

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