I took all the dialog out of the first scene of Dune. Let me explain.
Fascinating but flawed movies draw strength from alternative universes where more perfect versions exist. Among them, Dune is one of the most famous: denied final cut, director David Lynch distanced himself from the confusing theatrical release and had his name removed from an extended TV cut. All the extant versions fade (at least in our imagination) before his legendary rough cut, reputed to be 4 hours long.
Should it be rebuilt? The persistent belief is that something can be made better by adding more; but each thing added must contribute to a coherent, satisfying whole. Wouldn't it be easier to simply remove those elements that made the movie so confusing?
For example: all the words.
Click the pic for the first scene of the movie that is not itself spoken exposition--with all the dialog removed. YouTube appears to have a license with Universal that allows this experiment so long as I make a "fair use" declaration, but it prevents it from being embedded. I've also put it on Vimeo if that doesn't work for you.
I think it's pretty promising! 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.
Video links: YouTube, Vimeo.
Mur Lafferty, an amazing author and podcaster, had her mainstream publishing debt in 2013 with the wonderful Shambling Guide to New York City, about a travel writer who gets tapped to write a guidebook for spooks, haints, vampires and werewolves.
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