Having gone back to read the books after seeing the movie, the books were 100x better, richer, more compelling. But because I had already sen the movie, things like Ornithopter were imported from the movie (and likely less cool than my imagination would have envisioned them). I’m just thankful Dune (1984) was made to I was able to discover the books.
I’ve read a lot of sci-fi but never Dune,.nor did I see Lynch’s dramatization. My understanding is that Herbert’s books are a thoughtful exploration of a future in which resources we take for granted today become scarce. These movies seem like shoot-em-up spectaculars aimed at kids, like the Star Wars franchise or the second half of “Avatar.” Thanks for the warning.
I’m glad that the film encouraged more people to read the books. As someone who read a lot of sci-fi since childhood, watching film adaptations tends to be disappointing. I try to remain optimistic, though.
When I arrived at the theater to see Dune and they were handing out cheat sheets with definitions of terms to people in the lobby, my heart sank. To this day, I remember the scenes where the audience burst out laughing at the delivery of some lines. The miniseries was a vast improvement, and hopefully this new movie will be, too.
You should listen to your parents more. (We all should.)
There are huge parts left out in the Lynch film, such as the dinner party that was going on just before the Harkonnens invaded, and many of the things that occurred after Paul crashed in the desert with his mother. They really didn’t put much time in examining the culture and ways of the Fremin, which I think is what makes the first book so interesting in the first place. And of course the “heart plugs” which weren’t a thing in the novel at all. I don’t know the story about where those came from, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Lynch came up with the idea himself. Nerveless I am a Lynch fan and liked his version of it, understanding that he wasn’t given full artistic control of the movie in the first place.
Well, since I was 14 when the Lynch film came out, and probably 10 when they started trying to get me to read Dune, also maybe part of the problem was I was just too young. I was a voracious reader, but my parents often seemed to forget that even though I could read at an adult level didn’t mean I should read adult themes. I’m still traumatized by Ayla’s rape in Clan of the Cave Bear, which they also convinced me to read at a too-young age.
Hmm - maybe they should have listened to you. I think I first read Dune when I was somewhere between 14 and 16.
I enjoyed all the Dune novels I read (pretty sure I gave up after finishing God Emperor), and the film and SciFi Channel iterations, until I eventually realized how sexist one of the main plot points is.
Women needing a man to look at a part of reality which they cannot, because they’re women?
Um, no. Very no.
So much of the classic era of sci-fi is pretty sexist, sadly.
Yeah, at times what my parents didn’t know I was reading did hurt me. Some parents worry about locking up liquor, mine should’ve hidden a lot of books.
In one of the later novels, there’s a plotline involving space witches who are so good at sex that they’re planning to enslave all of humanity with their magical vaginas but when one of them bones a teenage Duncan Idaho clone he ends up thwarting the plan by being even better at sex, thus f*cking the will to dominate humanity right out of her.
So yeah there might be a couple plot arcs in that series that are kind of problematic when it comes to gender and sexuality.
I recently rewatched David Lynch’s Dune and enjoyed it more than I expected to. I came to the conclusion that he had made the explicit decision that the only way to represent this sprawling world building epic in a movie less than 5 hours long was to represent it as a comic book. Not a “graphic novel”, but an old fashioned comic book. People speak their inner thoughts like thought balloons. Every scene is clipped and short. Everything is oversaturated and exaggerated. It doesn’t exactly hang together. Even stripped down to this skinniest of tellings, it cuts out so much that it’s barely coherent. But that’s comix for ya, right?
One thing I adore about the Lynch movie is that his universe feels vast and ancient - the set design is extraordinarily good and different to anything that came before or since. And some of the character designs are wonderful - the Navigators are suitably freaky and there were many designs that are only glimpsed in the final movie.
Not to mention some of the in-camera effects using forced miniatures are nigh-on perfect. Shame about some of the blue-screen work though. There is a very old Cinefex from the day that shows how many of the effects were done - people just don’t make movies that way any more.
I must admit that I’d forgotten until I re-read the book recently how much of what goes on is ‘internal dialogue’ rather than conversations or descriptions of the world. It was always going to be a challenge to film and then to make a blockbuster.
BTW. Does anyone know if both halves of the Villeneuve adaptation have been filmed? We’re not going to only get one half of the story if this bombs are we?
Afaik only the first half has been filmed. Villeneuve scored a 2 picture deal with Warner to make them but part 2 is only in preproduction still from last I read.
What interests/frightens me is Villeneuve has made it clear that he needed 2 films to tell the book properly, but that the first film will be a standalone experience. Knowing the story, how exactly he is going to pull this off confuses me.
People have the same issue with the whole Kvothe/Felurian episode in The Wise Man’s Fear, although there’s a plausible/possible excuse there (i.e. the narrator’s lying).
The side-by-side clips pictured above really show how astounding the visual effects of Lynch’s version were; they still look pretty good even compared to the effects available almost 40 years later. The differences between the two are more about visual design choices than anything else.
I remember seeing it in high school with some friends who hadn’t read the book. They couldn’t follow the story and my knowledge of the book didn’t help me explain it either. I’m not a fan of the Lynch adaptation at all. None of my friends went on to read the book after seeing that movie.