New Dune movie will take no cues from Lynch's version

David Lynch's Dune, though unsuccessful in theaters, has gained a more positive reputation over the years for its spectacular visuals and memorable one-liners. But Denis Villeneuve, directing a new movie of Frank Herbert's SF classic, says he'll be taking pains not to let it influence his own vision.

From an interview with Yahoo:

“David Lynch did an adaptation in the ’80s that has some very strong qualities, I mean David Lynch is one of the best filmmakers alive, I have massive respect for him. But when I saw his adaptation I was impressed, but it was not what I had dreamed of, so I’m trying to make the adaptation of my dreams. ...

“It will not have any link with the David Lynch movie,” added Villeneuve, who said he fell in love with the classic novel when he was a teen. “I’m going back to the book, and going to the images that came out when I read it.”

This is certainly for the best. Lynch's Dune would have been more thoroughly forgotten but for a series of unambiguously excellent 1990s video games which were fastidiously imitative of his vision. Movies have some power to fix how people see a book, but media derived from movies has an uncanny power to set it in stone, shunting the source material a degree of separation away. I think those games are a big part of why younger Gen-Xers and Millenials appreciate Lynch's Dune, which is a bad film.

The blind spots of the 1982 movie's staging also correspond to things from the book that are most relevant and interesting now. Read the rest

Hayley Ashburn balances on a tightrope buffeted by winter winds

Hayley Ashburn narrates this short but intense film on fear, overlaid on heart-stopping footage of her highlining on a line 2800 meters up, between Italy's snow-dusted Torri del Vajolet in winter, the first person ever to do so. Recognize the quote? Read the rest

The amazing "Jodorowsky's Dune" on Blu-Ray and DVD for $(removed)

I loved this documentary about Alejandro Jodorowsky's quixotic quest to make a movie based on Frank Herbert's Dune in the mid-70s. In this 2014 film, we get to see and hear Jodorowsky, an energetic and charismatic octogenarian, describe with great passion his dream to combine the talents of Moebius, Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger, Orson Welles, Pink Floyd, H.R. Giger and top special effects artists to produce what has been called "The Greatest Movie Never Made." There's one scene in the film where Jodorowsky is describing a trippy space flight scene, accompanied by Moebius' stunning storyboards, which momentarily lets you see the mind-blowing awesomeness of a movie that exists only in the mind of Jodorowsky.

Right now, Amazon has the Blu-Ray/DVD of Jodorowsky's Dune for just $(removed) Read the rest

The Dune in our Heads

A problem crops up when filmmakers try to adapt epic fantasy worlds to the big screen—particularly beloved, richly-imagined literary ones. Sacrifices must be made. Characters are cut, and plotlines are re-routed. Scenes and places don’t match what readers have pictured with their minds. Fans of the original book cry foul.

In the case of director Alejandro Jodorowsky, his vision for Frank Herbert’s masterwork Dune was so over the top, so surreal (and, at times, so absurd), it probably would have blown the minds of critics before they had a chance to grumble.

That is, if Jodorowsky’s translation and transmogrification of Dune had ever been made. It never was.