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  1.  (1460.1)
    "Whether Dune had any causal influence on the rise of Al Qaeda, Herbert certainly did a superb job of predicting the rise and the power of such an ideology. I would be surprised if there were not, among the followers of Osama bin Laden, at least a few readers of Dune for whom this book feels like their future, their identity, their dream."

    ...that's the most retarded thing I've heard all day.
  2.  (1460.2)

    I have found the less one ever hears what Orson Scott Card actually has to say about anything the better off you are. Ender's Game might be a modern classic, but I can't stomach or look at anything the man says these days without getting a migraine. That quote surprises me not at all.
    • CommentAuthorGiuseppeM
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2008
    As I said, an interesting look into Dune and Islam.
  3.  (1460.4)
    ...that's the most retarded thing I've heard all day.

    Orson Scott Card really doesn't disappoint. His usual bag of homophobic bullshit is impressive enough, but connecting Dune and Al-Queda? That's taking it up a level.

    Unless Ender's Game cures baby cancer he's not excused from being a doofus.
    • CommentAuthormelbradley
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2008
    I'm really late to this thread and website.

    I've been reading everyone's comments about both versions of Dune and no one has pointed out the my biggest pet peeve with the Sci-Fi version: the pronounciations of a lot of the character's names are wrong. I guess they wanted to distance themselves from Lynch's film and didn't know that Frank Herbert approved how to correctly speak all the names and terminology.
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2008
    One major flaw of both previous adaptations, at least as far as I'm concerned, is that they fail to present Arrakis as a main "character" in and of itself. The Sci-Fi miniseries is especially guilty of this, given its cheap, stage-drama-quality sets. The force of nature is a powerful storytelling element in the novel, something that can be conveyed partially through the style of camera work present in a film. As long as the environmental scale of the story isn't presented fully, an adaptation will never be successful. If movies like Star Wars and Stargate can make us believe we're in a vast, unending desert, there's no reason Dune can't.

    Worth noting: Each "Act" of Dune could easily be adapted into its own, modular film, and the novel as a whole could thus be presented as a trilogy. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to me that the mainstream film market can support that for any property lesspopular than LotR or Harry Potter.
    • CommentAuthorseandehey
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2008
    behold: the dune pronunciation guide. these are clips from an audiobook read by herbert.

    i guess har-kone-en was wrong all along? watching the scifi version, every time someone said hark-enen, it drove me nuts. yet, here is herbert saying it like that. damn. i think i'll stick with the lynch pronunciation in my own head, but it'll be interesting to see which gets used if this new film gets off the ground.

    i haven't seen the desert bits of the lynch movie in years, but i seem to recall them being more convincing than a pile of sand on a soundstage. even so, while it'd be better than scifi did, i do hope we get something more than simply flying the cast out to tunisia and pointing a camera at them. i don't want arrakis to look like any terrestrial desert.

    lucas on tatooine in the prequels got a nice sense of scale, but his cinematography wasn't so hot. i'd want to see something like weta did on lotr with the composite landscapes, or something closer to what i presume are the cgi landscapes from the third harry potter movie and on forward. alfonso cauron came on board, and suddenly hogwarts was in a place, instead of simply a series of rooms with a courtyard and a lawn. some of the landscape shots leading up to the maddeningly not-included quidditch world cup in the fourth movie were spectacular.

    the cgi shots in the scifi version were pretty great; throw some hollywood money at that and we're getting there. i want rock formations of staggering scale, i want dunes that stretch over the horizon and forever, i want sand-blasted mountains ranges and sandstorms the size of hurricanes. this is not simply a patch of sand, this is a desert planet, and the closest i ever got to a real sense of that outside the novel was the wierd adventure-ish game based on the lynch movie that sierra put out back in like 91.

    that game was awesome, and the overworld map of dune was impressively detailed. also, you could ride sandworms later in the game and choose to just sit back and watch the whole trip.
  4.  (1460.8)
    Indeed. "Send men, to summon, WOOOOOORRRRRRRRRMZ..." is the best thing SciFi Channel has ever done.

    Au contraire, Lost Room has been the best thing the SciFi Channel has ever done. It might be clocked when George Clooney's production of Stephenson's Diamond Age ever gets made.

    I'm in the "I love Lynch's Dune" category. I saw it when I was twelve and the whole movie was that amazing Baron Harkonnen and some other stuff with sound guns. The Baron in book was nothing compared to that performance and script. Fucking heart-plugs, man!
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2008
    The audiobook clips sounds like what scholars claim is classical Aramaic from what I can hear. Though at this point, I'd like to see films of other book made.
  5.  (1460.10)

    If you're interested in Herbert's language research that went into Dune there's a book called "The Road to Dune" his son (ugh) put out. Has alot of insight into how much work he put into making the language sound 'right'. Also has an early draft of the Dune book that is much more traditionally 60's sci-fi. Worth a look.
  6.  (1460.11)
  7.  (1460.12)
    Nothing personal, but have you read any of the books he's written with Kevin Anderson set in the Dune universe? They're pretty awful, some of them come across like overheated fan fiction. They basically explain EVERYTHING about Dune in this completely linear, kind of guidebook, fashion.I got through a couple but they just got more and more bland. Makes you realize how utterly central the elder Herbert's voice was to his fiction.

    His writing about his Father isn't so bad, though I'd say that anyone reading might be a bit less interested in their relationship than in Herbert's process/work.
      CommentAuthorCat Vincent
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2008 edited
    I actually managed to fight my way through the whole Anderson/Brian Herbert cycle, in chronological order (with the originals at the right point) and despite the less-than-sprightly prose style, the long arc makes perfect sense and worked for me. Without being spoiler-boy, the prequels actually set up the sequels and are I think necessary for the arc to work. (Of course, whether or not the final 2 books are actually as Frank Herbert wanted them is another question... I assume it was as he intended, but I'm nice like that.)

    I like all the versions to various degrees, even the Smithee cut.

    There's an element to the Lynch that hasn't been touched on as yet here - the bits he added, specifically the 'sound as a weapon' stuff.
    The speech Paul gives after blowing up the onyx pyramid by shouting at it (even writing that gives me a smile!) is a paraphrase of a quote from the Sufi master Jalalluddin Rumi about prayer. Well, except for the bit about exploding organs.
    I thought adding that extra touch of desert mysticism - and the cool shouty-guns - worked, but it was an odd choice to add material, considering how much was binned. I've not found any specific comment from Lynch on the subject, but I assume it was there for a reason. The closest I've found is one interview which has him saying;
    Reading the first 60 pages was embarassing, but then I became addicted, I just couldn`t get enough of it. And I realized that it might become a great film. I chose to do it the other way around. I tried to reduce the core of the story to a few pages, to add details to this basis. So I didn`t take from the novel, but added to its core.

    (Interestingly, in that interview with Lynch, just before the release of Dune, he says he was signed to do a sequel... there's an interesting lost opportunity.)

    Last thought... I just hope that Berg's version finally has the full banquet scene - perhaps my favourite moment in the book. Though admittedly a challenge to adapt, with the battle language subtext and all.
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2008
    Anyone else see the 4-hour edition (with some of the deleted scenes, plus linking pieces of storyboard narrated by Robert Loggia)? Worth it, especially for Patrick Stewart singing his heart out as Gurney!

    I have a lot of trouble with this version... mostly because the re-edit was butchered pretty badly. It's interesting to see everything that got cut, but the way the score has been removed and re-placed (mostly inappropriately) makes it something of a pain to slog through, and the inconsistent special effect use in the restored footage is really distracting. It would be interesting to see what someone could do with a new, "perfect" re-edit, using all the original elements.
  8.  (1460.15)
    Cat Vincent:

    What bugged me about the Herbert/Anderson was how...perfunctory they are. Very linear, step by step, almost outline form. They felt less squishy, less weird and poetic as Herbert's originals.

    Maybe it's just a difference in desire. I'd rather see things left off the page, more mystery and less explination. I really didn't care how the Machine Crusade played out, or how the Baron really got so fat. I like intimation and conjecture more than clarity at times. The unreliability of narrative and story in the Dune books was part of the fun. Characters becoming legends, legends becoming gods, all out the germ of confusion.

    Sorry, just geeking out a bit there.
  9.  (1460.16)
    I do see your point - and the linear aspect of the books was problematic, to say the least. But despite that, the plot actually kept me interested.

    (I cut that bit of my post - must've been just after you saw it - as I was too sleepy/dumb to have read the rest of the thread before writing that bit!)
    The Smithee cut is problematic, but the scenes restored - Leto/Stilgar's first meeting, with the spitting on the desk for instance - were pretty good. The device of using storyboard pics plus narration wasn't the best choice, but it did explain the plot for everyone who'd not actually read the book.
  10.  (1460.17)
    @Cat Vincent

    You're right. That detail about the Power of Sound..of noises or particular's an interesting insertion and one i quite like.

    I've always enjoyed the Lynch film for many of the reasons others have mentioned...the ambience and the strangeness and the sense of mystic as well as cryptic.
    I liked the Sci Fi versions also in some regards but it never engaged me with the same sense of wonder and mystery that Lynch conveyed through scenery and the repitition of some dialogues and phrases..spoken throughout the film like mantras.
  11.  (1460.18)
    On Lynch's Dune:

    There's a bit of a mythic quality to the production of Lynch's film version in that there's a lot of stories that fly around about it. Lynch himself has said (most notably in Lynch on Lynch, an excellent book of interviews) that he was more interested in making the sequels than the original Dune film. I have to say that I think that his skills as a director are probably much mored matched for the tone of Dune Messiah than the original book (a God Emperor of Dune movie probably would have made some Lynch-fare that harkened back to the imagery of Eraserhead, with the worm/Leto II reminiscent of that seminal Lynch image of "the baby").

    I would have liked to have seen a more comprehensive cut of Lynch's version of the film (the extended cut notably removes many "Lynch-isms" like the David Foster Wallace coined "Heart-plug rape") and multiple drafts of the script (which Lynch penned himself) can be found on a website devoted to Dune film adaptations:

    When Lynch showed his rough cut to producers, it ran somewhere around 4 hours long as I recall, and he was asked to trim the film heavily. The theatrical cut runs just at about 2 hours and 15 minutes. This leaves a lot on the cutting room floor. The same site that hosts the screenplays claims that most these scenes can be found in Lynch's 6th draft of the script. Some of these trimmed sequences can be viewed (heavily degraded) as extras on the Dune Extended Cut DVD (though Lynch walked away from the actual "Extended Cut" as others have noted). A certain amount of trimming is normal following any rough cut but that's a lot of material to lose, this may explain why there is a strange clip-show-like montage in the center of the film.

    As for Peter Berg as the director of a new adaptation:

    I think when it comes to epic film storytelling, it can be difficult to judge how directors may be able to accommodate the story. I was a fan of Peter Jackson's films before Lord of the Rings, especially Meet the Feebles. None of his films, including his previous run at Hollywood in The Frighteners would have suggested Lord of the Rings to me or the way in which he constructed those films. I remember thinking A guy who makes a movies that includes lines like "I kick ass for The Lord!" is making Lord of the Rings?. Little did I know that he would just make the Orcs his Feeble-foils, "Meat's back on the menu, boys!"

    Which isn't to hold up Jackson as the paragon of fantasy filmmaking, but just to say that a filmmaker's work may not necessarily be entirely indicative of how they may proceed, especially on what may be a dream project. Although there are, of course many films that are directly contrary to this: Chris Weitz' The Golden Compass for example.
  12.  (1460.19)
    Berg's done one terrible movie (Very Bad Things), a frustrating movie (The Kingdom), and two of my favourites (Friday Night Lights and Welcome To The Jungle / The Rundown, which I will not hear a bad word said about). I'm intrigued by this development. Besides, fear is the mindkiller.

    Re: the guy who played Gurney in Children of Dune, wasn't he also in Renny Harlin's "remake" of Paul Schrader's Exorcist prequel? Worst performance in a major movie ever. Seriously. He should have been kicked out of Equity over it. Yes, it's a a piece of shit movie, but to think an actual actor lost out on a payday because this joker got to get the part instead, is just GAH.
    • CommentAuthordnwilliams
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2008
    i'm going to be doing a dissertation on dystopian fiction this year and someone recently recommended i read dune for this...

    it was something i'd wanted to read anyway but, from what i gather, it's not dystopian, is it?