Dune , mindblowing (5 replies)
Saw Dune Sunday last. One of the most extraordinary cinema experiences I’ve ever had .
absolutely not going to be for everybody, but the synergy between all the elements of this kind of piece i have never seen equaled. Totality of Design, casting , sound design, world building, cgi integration. Incredible.
While I enjoyed it, it was not without issue for me.
I wish some of the dialogue exposition was instead handled visually through the inclusion of different scenes, especially for the critical motivation of forcing House Atreides to take over Arrakis.
Yes, it is referenced through snippets of character dialog in the film, but if the Imperium were becoming wary/jealous of the growing strength of Atreides armies and alliances, and of Paul, I would have rather seen 5-6 minutes cut from elsewhere in the films and have that established at start.
It reminded me of the opening Sicario - before all the dialog later in the film which talks about the growing and insidious nature of the drug cartels, the scene of bodies suffocated in the walls, and the overwhelmed DEA agents, produce a powerful visual foundation that says, without a word, that the wolves are here, in our backyard, metaphorically and literally. We are invested deeply in the issue at that moment.
That scene enhances and informs the dialog later in Sicario. Dune is missing this, and IMO, would have benefitted greatly as establishing this major plot tension.
I felt set design/lighting/composition/color grading travelled a very narrow road through the 2 1/2 hours. The interiors on Caladan for example (a green water world) are dark, dull, tomb-like, and not necessarily visually that different from the interiors on the desert world of Arrakis. Contrast there would've made reasonable sense I thought.
And the desert scenes themselves - while unarguably grand in scope - are also somewhat visually repetitive by their very nature. In toto, there was a somewhat restrictive feel the film visually presented to me - perhaps metaphorically intended, but practically not always compelling.
I also was bothered a touch by dialog that was not very intelligible (this is becoming more and more of an issue in lots of content sadly). There were a number of scenes, but two key ones that pop up to me are Lady Jessica outside the door during the gom jabbar scene, and Paul later in the tent when he begins to lose it with his visions of his future. Made out almost nothing of what was said.
Of course, I've seen it twice already and will likely see it a third, so there was much else to appreciate!
I get your point about the missing political intrigue but the film is focused on Paul and his family. That’s why the Emperor was not introduced here. David Lynch opted to open his film with the Emperor and the grotesque guild navigator mentioning the growing influence of House Atriedes.
Because the novel has been a life-long obsession for Villeneuve, I’m sure he agonized about the parts he had to cut.
To me, it looks like Villeneuve prefers a clean and streamlined production/art direction. Both “Dune” and “Blade Runner 2049” are more minimalistic, in comparison to the everything-and-the-kitchen sink look of the 1982 “Blade Runner” and the baroque sets of the 1984 “Dune.”
And what a coincidence Villeneuve has taken on another Ridley Scott-associated project. Following the success of “Alien,” Scott spent almost a year in pre-production for “Dune.” He abandoned the film, mainly due to the death of his older brother. What is fascinating about Scott’s take was that he wanted to shoot it like “Battle of Algiers.”
“It’s one of the most seamless marriages of live action photography and computer generated visual effects that I’ve seen,” Nolan said. “It’s very, very compelling at every turn.” My point exactly.
But also the simple juxtaposition of Big and small story that is so often overwhelmed by this type of ambitious science fiction. Rebecca Ferguson was superb.
The film was two-and-a-half hours long, yet it spent more than one whole hour laying pipe! The House of This is against the House of That and the Emperor of The Other may be plotting against This, That, or the Other! Duneaholics will know all that guff already - the rest of us don't care! (And yes, I did read the book, but ages ago!)
The turning point came far too late - but when it came, the movie came into its own and into its stride. It ceased to be an episode of General Hospital and became a magnificent and spectacular movie - and well worth watching!
My wife enjoyed the whole thing - but then she is a committed Duneaholic and wants to know about all the intrigues at court and who's zooming whom.
And the music from Hans Zimmer was perfect for the whole project and the musical 'builds' towards the end were perfect. The sound design was spot-on except for 'The Voice' - really a minor detail.
Really well worth watching and scores high on my personal Rotten Tomatoes and I am happy to hear that Part Two has been green-lit - I shall watch it and I shall buy the BR disks for our home cinema.
I haven't watched dune yet, but I'm popping in (albeit what looks to be a month late to this convo) to say hi to Byre and Baudelaire! It's nice to see familiar faces on the forum.