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I hope it isn't just a glossy, superficial look at the project. Jodorowsky's vision for DUNE was astonishing.

Have you read the script?

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I hope it isn't just a glossy, superficial look at the project. Jodorowsky's vision for DUNE was astonishing.

Also weirder than Lynch. Which is a sentence one doesn't get to say often. :P

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Alejandro Jodorowsky's 'Dune' Will Finally Hit Screens (Cannes)

Frank Herbert’s Dune has long bewitched filmmakers and despite manyattempts, David Lynch’s unsatisfying 1984 adaptation is the only one that made it to the screen.

Ten years earlier, however, Chilean-born filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky tried to tackle the novel and it’s that attempt that is the centre of a documentary by Frank Pavich, the director of the 1999 music documentary N.Y.H.C.

Titled Jodorowsky’s Dune, the movie is chronicling the two year effort by Jodorowsky and his team of relative unknown artists, artists then went on to become influencers in the sci-fi genre. Among the team were H.R. Giger, who designed the alien in Alien, Dan O’Bannon, who wrote Alien and Total Recall, French artist Jean “Moebius” Giraud, who worked on The Empire Strikes Back, Tron and The Fifth Element, and Chris Foss, who worked on Alien and Superman. . . .

Hollywood Reporter, May 12

The documentary gets a promo video.

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(it won't let me embed).

A short scene from David Lynch's dune [sic], stripped of dialog as a critical experiment; any implicit elements of parody are to be embraced

BoingBoing has commentary:

By removing all that talking, we could transmute the 3-hour epic to about 45 minutes of Lynch's imagery, unburdened by the need to make a story out of 650 pages of verbose political maneuvering by people who spend half the book analyzing their own superhuman, chess-like conversations. Instead, loads of robed witches, psychedelic space travel, freaky monsters, and the Toto and Brian Eno soundtrack. Though, actually, I think more Eno than Toto would be for the best.
Edited by NBooth

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(it won't let me embed).

A short scene from David Lynch's dune [sic], stripped of dialog as a critical experiment; any implicit elements of parody are to be embraced

BoingBoing has commentary:

By removing all that talking, we could transmute the 3-hour epic to about 45 minutes of Lynch's imagery, unburdened by the need to make a story out of 650 pages of verbose political maneuvering by people who spend half the book analyzing their own superhuman, chess-like conversations. Instead, loads of robed witches, psychedelic space travel, freaky monsters, and the Toto and Brian Eno soundtrack. Though, actually, I think more Eno than Toto would be for the best.

Interesting experiment. I'd be delighted to see such a 45-minute, silent cut of DUNE.

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I noticed the other day that the 1984 version of Dune is available on Netflix, so last night, after the kids went to bed (later than usual), I began watching... and I made it about half-way through before the need to sleep overwhelmed me.

But it was an interesting experience, as I hadn't seen the film since it first opened almost 28 years ago, and I was intrigued to see which images I actually *remembered* seeing way back when (the floating guy with the huge acne problem who comes down and pops something open on another guy's chest, thus basically causing him to bleed to death; the dead friend whose head wound is obscured by the personal force field around him; etc.).

I was also surprised by just how utterly *pervasive* the here's-what-they're-thinking voice-overs were: I vaguely remembered Max von Sydow's recollection of a prophecy, but that was it; I had forgotten that there were voice-overs in virtually every scene, or that some of them were fairly mundane.

And I think it's safe to say I was able to appreciate some of the surreal montages better this time than when I first saw the film at the age of 14. (In fact, one of the dream sequences had me wondering if it might have inspired the not-quite-as-surreal time-travel sequence in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, two years later.)

'Twas also fun to see actors I have come to know better for their subsequent roles, notably Patrick Stewart of course, but also Brad Dourif, and you could even throw Jose Ferrer onto this list: while he was an Oscar-winning celebrity years before he appeared in this film, I myself did not really take note of him until several years *later*, when the "director's cut" of Lawrence of Arabia came out. (Incidentally, speaking of Star Trek, Ferrer's son Miguel had a bit part in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock the same year Dune came out.) And of course, for many audience members, Kyle McLachlan became better known for his subsequent collaborations with David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks). (Side note: I found myself thinking that the 11-year gap between Dune and, um, Showgirls was significantly shorter than the 17-year gap between Showgirls and today. For some reason, whenever I think of Kyle McLachlan, Showgirls is the first non-Lynch movie I think of.)

And then there are the actors that make you think, "Oh, yeah, s/he was in quite a few movies back then, wasn't s/he?" I'm thinking here primarily of Linda Hunt, who I think had just won an Oscar for The Year of Living Dangerously before being cast in this film; the movie of hers I'm most familiar with is probably Silverado, which came out one year after Dune. But Richard Jordan also gave me a nice flashback to The Hunt for Red October, which came out six years later.

As for the visual effects... well, some of them are quite beautiful, and others have that giant-clunky-prop-that-might-have-been-better-if-they'd-had-CGI feeling.

And oh, yeah, the opening minutes *do* make you feel like you're cramming for a pop quiz or something. Family [name] is ruling planet [name] which is characterized by [substance/climate], etc., etc.? There must have been a more felicitous way to draw the audience in. But after a while you do settle in, I think.

Now I just need to find time to watch the second half.

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I posted that on Facebook, and so far the only people who remember getting it are American; none of my Canadian friends seem to. (Admittedly, the people who've commented on that thread represent an infinitesimally small sample size, but still.

 

I can't help thinking that any film which needs a glossary like that must be in big, big trouble. You don't see Star Trek movies coming with a list of terms (like "tricorder" or "transporter"); it's just assumed that the audience will include a lot of fans who already know the lingo, or that the movie will be fairly easy to follow even if you *aren't* a fan. Handing out a glossary like this just tells people that {a} you're afraid there aren't that many fans out there in the audience, and {b} that you're aware you've probably made your movie way too hard for a non-fan to follow.

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I saw Dune on opening day, and the radio station that I worked for had a screening the following day. I didn't receive this at either showing.  I still have the 11x17 poster they handed out, and I would have loved to have gotten hold of this. I wonder if it was only given out in bigger markets.

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Funny this thread popped up just now.  My older son Jonathan and I watched this on Friday, since he's a big fan of the books; and I loved this movie as a teen, so I was eager to revisit it.  Jonathan liked it (that's about the most I can get out of him in filmic assessment these days); for me it was more of a mixed bag.

 

As others have mentioned, it was a treat seeing familiar actors whom I'd forgotten were in here:  names like Ferrer and Stewart meant nothing to me back in the day.  And some of the visuals have held up very well for their strange inventiveness (the floating abscessed obese dude, the creature emitting spice from its orifices, the big worms, the doubly blue eyes). 

 

But as one who's never read the books, it was a slog getting through those first 45 minutes and some points beyond, with all of the names, titles and affiliations.  I could've definitely used one of those laminated vocab guides.  Moreso, the talk of Jihad and the image of a grinning little girl knifing a baddie carry an inescapably more ominous significance in our post-9/11 world of suicide bombers and islamofascism.

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Even though I like Lynch's Dune, I do think Dune is one of those works that is so dense that it probably doesn't work well as a movie, it needs to be a miniseries. There is a Dune miniseries. which is better than the movie in terms of allowing new viewers to understand concepts that the Lynch film never explains.

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Even though I like Lynch's Dune, I do think Dune is one of those works that is so dense that it probably doesn't work well as a movie, it needs to be a miniseries. There is a Dune miniseries. which is better than the movie in terms of allowing new viewers to understand concepts that the Lynch film never explains.

 

I'm actually a fan of movies that throw a lot of concepts at the audience without trying to explain them. The miniseries is much easier to follow, but that's at the expense of texture, setting, and dialogue. I'd recommend it for the plot, but I'll take Lynch for the flavor.

 

That said--I really wish HBO or someone would get the rights to this property and developed a series that had the textured feel of the Lynch feature and the broader political view of the miniseries.

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I agree that Lynch's take has a lot more flavor, but I also realize that as someone who read the book first, I had an understanding going in that made me able to enjoy it better than if I had just been thrown into the deep end. If someone had never read the book (and I couldn't convince them to read the book first), I'd recommend the miniseries first.

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Sean T. Collins makes the (doubtful) assertion that Dune fandom is the last non-toxic fandom:

No matter how much Lynch’s version trends upward in critical estimation, no matter how (or if) Villeneuve’s new version pans out, this is just not a franchise that’s scalable in the Transformers or Harry Potter way. It’s too dense, too weird. It smells like sun-bleached library paperbacks. Which, by the way, are the only form in which Dune has been successfully franchised, in the form of sequels co-authored by workmanlike SFF writer Kevin J. Anderson and Herbert’s son Brian. Dune references signal shared knowledge to those in the know, and that’s about it. Dune fandom is an un-fandom.

Ok, whatever, I was on the messageboards a few years back and I remember how fans reacted to the Anderson-Herbert collabs. It was certainly not non-toxic.

But the article does make a good point about why Dune is such an unlikely franchise-starter.

(I decided today, several years after reading Dune, to finally get around to the sequels. We'll see how that goes).

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The words "successfully franchised" and "Kevin J. Anderson" do not belong in the same sentence (even if there is a tacit acknowledgement that Anderson is merely "workmanlike"). Anderson's involvement in the early Star Wars Extended Universe (which now seems to be forming the basis for Disney films like Solo: A Star Wars Story) was one of the main reasons I bailed on those books in the 1990s, and, while I've never followed the Dune franchise, I remember commiserating with Dune fans over Anderson's involvement in those books.

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