The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewTrevor Lynch Archive
Review: Dune, Part I
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, Part 1 is now in theatres. I can’t recommend it. It isn’t terrible. It is merely mediocre. I found it dull to the eyes, grating to the ears, and a drag on my patience. Villeneuve spends 156 minutes and only gets halfway through the novel. David Lynch told the whole story in 137 minutes. Of course audiences are willing to sit through long movies if they are really good: Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, for instance. But this film isn’t in that league.

This is a pity, because Frank Herbert’s original novel, published in 1965, is one of the twentieth century’s great works of popular fiction, brilliantly synthesizing both the futurism of science fiction and the archaism of fantasy literature. Set more than 20,000 years in the future, Dune is the story of two noble houses fighting for control of the planet Arrakis or Dune, which is the sole source of the most valuable substance in the universe, a psychoactive drug known as “spice.” Dune and its five sequels have been read by millions, inspiring whole universes of fan art and fan fiction, as well as a number of screen adaptations, to say nothing of rip-offs like Star Wars.

The first screen adaptation was Alejandro Jodorowsky’s failed production, which may have been the greatest movie never made. David Lynch’s 1984 Dune was a flop, but it is a brilliant movie and remains the best version. In 2000, the Sci-Fi Channel did a three-part Dune miniseries which was quite flawed. Its sequel, the Children of Dune miniseries (2003), dramatized Dune’s first two sequels, Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. It is excellent, despite its poor special effects.

A Dune movie is also politically significant. Frank Herbert’s vision of the future was deeply reactionary. He depicts a world where liberal democracy failed and has been replaced by a feudal imperium. In Herbert’s imperium, artificial intelligence has been destroyed as oppressive and remains under the iron ban of a syncretic form of Christianity. Computer technology is a great leveler. Without it, humanity must fall back on natural gifts, which are rare. To refine these gifts and make them more common, eugenics is practiced. Biological sex differences are recognized. Bureaucracies are disdained as repressive instruments of equality and fairness. The story of Leto II in Children of Dune and God Emperor of Dune is opposed to surveillance and empire in favor of freedom and pluralism. Herbert believed that mankind would never be safe unless we could free ourselves from the leveling gaze of a single, universal political order. (See my article on “The Golden Path.”)

Beyond that, Herbert has quite compelling reasons for his belief that liberal democracy will not take mankind to the stars and that mankind can only spread across the galaxy by returning to archaic social forms like hereditary monarchy, feudalism, and initiatic spiritual orders. (See my article “Archaeofuturist Fiction: Frank Herbert’s Dune.”)

Herbert’s vision of the future is also gloriously Eurocentric. His imperium is medieval Europe writ large, while his vision of Arrakis and its native people, the Fremen, is based on Arabia, i.e., the Near East—“near” in relation to Europe, that is.

Thus from a Right-wing, European identitarian viewpoint, it would be wonderful to have a really good movie to sell Herbert’s vision to a whole new generation.

It is always remarkable when the modern film industry adapts inherently reactionary literature like The Lord of the Rings, Dune, or—on a much lower level—the Twilight saga. Of course the industry would prefer to churn out stories in which whites, especially white men, are ritualistically humiliated and replaced by nonwhites and strong women. With inherently reactionary and Eurocentric stories, they have less room for propaganda.

Dune does have an anti-colonialist aspect, but that is Left-wing only if one ignores the fact that ethnic nationalism is anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist as well. Dune also involves a struggle for a scarce resource, but that lends itself to vulgar Leftist materialism only if one ignores the fact that the resource’s primary use is spiritual and that the imperium is ruled by honor-driven aristocrats and mystical initiates, not by merchants. Thus the best Villeneuve could do to subvert Dune is play up these aspects (e.g., in the opening narration), hope nobody asks questions, and stuff the cast with non-whites and strong women, lest Herbert’s fans think that race and sex differences actually matter.

Race clearly mattered to Herbert. He envisioned all of his characters as, if not European, at least as Caucasoid. The imperium is European. The Fremen people of Arrakis believed themselves descended from Egyptians. The only character with any hint of non-Caucasoid ancestry is Duncan Idaho, who was described as having high cheekbones and narrow eyes. Idaho, of course, is an American Indian name, so Herbert may have been hinting at some such ancestry. But Idaho also has wavy hair—likened to a karakul sheep—which is not an American Indian trait.

The earlier adaptations of Dune have been faithfully Eurocentric, in keeping with Herbert’s vision. Villeneuve’s new movie puts nonwhites in key roles.

The character of the Imperial Planetologist, Dr. Liet Kynes, was memorably portrayed by Max von Sydow in Lynch’s film. Here he is played by a very black woman (Sharon Duncan-Brewster). Villeneuve even invents a scene where she is a bit sassy before being swallowed by a giant sandworm. (It isn’t quite “Say hello to my little fren’,” but that’s the vibe they were driving for.)

Liet’s daughter Chani is played by a mulatto actress, Zendaya. (Villeneuve tries his best to make her glamorous, but with her flat nose and big lips, she’s a solid five.)

Half-Hawaiian bodybuilder/martial artist Jason Momoa plays Duncan Idaho and actually looks the part.

Doctor Wellington Yueh, despite his name, was not described as Oriental or cast that way in previous adaptations. Here he is played by a Chinaman.

Some minor Fremen characters are also blacked-up: Harah, the wife of Stilgar, is played by Gloria Obianyo. Jamis is played by Babs Olusanmokun.

Given that the villains, the Harkonnens, are depicted as bald headed and pasty white—with part-Filipino Dave Bautista in whiteface as Rabban—I feared that Villeneuve wished to turn Dune into a race-war between putatively racist whites and a coalition of non-whites and white race-mixers. But the movie blunts that message by making some of the villains nonwhite as well.

Near the beginning, Villeneuve invents a scene in which the Emperor’s herald proclaims the Atreides family stewards of Arrakis. The scene hints at the grandeur of the imperium and the ethos of the Atreides, but its main purpose seems to be to put a very strange looking black man in a prominent role as the Emperor’s herald. But the Emperor is one of the bad guys.

Later in the movie, the Oriental doctor Yueh turns out to be a traitor.

At the end of the movie, the young hero Paul Atreides is called out to fight Jamis, a cocky, pigheaded, and deranged black man. Paul tries to avoid the fight, then deescalate the fight, but he is finally forced to kill Jamis. This is not the sort of parable I expected in the present Year of Our Floyd. It makes you feel for Derek Chauvin. Maybe BLM will riot in memory of this miscreant too. George Floyd was no more real a victim than Jamis, and the movie industry has deep pockets.

Dune is an objectively good story. Casting nonwhite actors in white roles doesn’t change that. But it is a calculated insult to the author and to white audiences, who are getting mighty sick of it. It is also simply a farce, like casting blacks to play Anne Boleyn or Marshal Mannherheim. When one sees such casting in movie theatres, one should openly scoff. Of course all this diversity casting simply invited the charge that Dune is now a “white savior” movie, something that could not be said about earlier adaptations.

How do the performances in this Dune compare to earlier versions?

Timothée Chalamet is good as Paul Atreides, but he is not better than Lynch’s Kyle MacLachlan or the Sci-Fi Channel’s Alec Newman. Unlike the other Pauls, Chalamet actually looks like a teenager.

Oscar Isaac is good as Duke Leto Atreides. I actually find him marginally better than Lynch’s Jürgen Prochnow and far better than Sci-Fi’s mumbling William Hurt.

Rebecca Ferguson is good as Paul’s mother Jessica, but not better than Francesca Annis in Lynch’s film. Ferguson shows a great deal more emotion than Annis, which makes her more relatable, but Annis better captures the coolness and strength one would expect of an initiate of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood. The best Jessica of all, however, is Alice Kriege in Children of Dune.

I had high hopes for Charlotte Rampling as Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother Mohiam. She is good but not better than Sian Phillips in Lynch’s film.

I also had high hopes for Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, but even in the trailers he looked puffy and out of shape, and his performance is inferior to the best Duncan, Edward Atterton in Children of Dune.

I thought Javier Bardem was a good choice for Stilgar, but he looks terrible, had few lines, and did not come off as a leader. The best Stilgar is Steven Berkoff in Children of Dune, although he overacts.

Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård is quite disappointing as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. He plays the Baron like Marlon Brando’s Colonel Kurz in Apocalypse Now. Kenneth MacMillan’s over-the-top but unforgettable Baron in Lynch’s film is more successful at communicating his madness. Ian McNeice is the Sci-Fi miniseries is more successful in communicating his intelligence and urbanity.

Villeneuve’s Gurney Halleck, Dr. Yueh, Thufir Hawat, Shadout Mapes, Piter de Vries, and Rabban are all adequate but not superior to Lynch’s cast.

Even though Villeneuve has plenty of time for characterization, the only characters in this film who seem better fleshed out than in Lynch’s film are Duke Leto Atreides and Duncan Idaho. Most of the other characters are less well-drawn and real than in the Lynch film.

Prophetic dreams and visions play a huge role in Dune. Nobody beats David Lynch in that department.

The chief flaw of Lynch’s Dune are the special effects. The Sci-Fi Channel has cheap special effects too. Villeneuve’s special effects are superior, but what really matters is how the technology is used. This brings us to the question of design, where Lynch is again superior. Villeneuve’s ships, cityscapes, and interiors are not particularly interesting or imaginative. I liked Lynch’s “ornithopter” designs better simply because they didn’t look like they could fly. The city of Arrakeen is less detailed, realistic, or interesting than countless pre-digital science fiction worlds, including the original Star Wars and Blade Runner, which they clearly rip off. So much money and technology went into this movie’s sets, designs, and effects, yet very little talent and taste.

A major failing of Lynch’s Dune is a lack of grand landscape photography. Villeneuve gives us some spectacular landscapes on the watery world of Caladan, but like Lynch, he depicts the desert world of Arrakis as dark, gloomy, and ugly. This is a shocking lapse of taste and simple, basic showmanship. Deserts are beautiful places. Just look at David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia.

Lean, by the way, would have been the perfect director for Dune. He knew how to create epics. He knew how to photograph deserts, palaces, hovels, and battles, and make every frame look like a great European painting. Imagine if after Dr. Zhivago Lean’s next project with screenwriter Robert Bolt was Dune rather than Ryan’s Daughter. It would have been poetic, given that a major influence on Dune was T. E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

Technology is supposedly progressing, yet cost-cutting has brought us a world where air travel is slower and less comfortable than 60 years ago, where the Concorde was scrapped, and where movie images contain less detail and depth of focus, to say nothing of beauty. If I were running things, 70mm cameras and supersonic jets would be as standard as seatbelts.

ORDER IT NOW

Which Dune adaptation is most faithful to the original novel? All three take liberties, but based on the first half of Villeneuve’s version, it is the most faithful to Herbert’s book. But his fidelity consists in including a lot of chases, fights, and escapes that feel like standard pulp science fiction fare. They make for good action sequences in the film, but they really aren’t necessary to reveal character, illustrate deeper themes, or advance the overall story.

Jodorowsky wanted Pink Floyd and Magma to compose the music for his Dune. Brian Eno contributed the best music to Lynch’s film, but Toto was responsible for most of the score. It is adequate, but it is not Pink Floyd. I don’t remember a single note from the Sci-Fi series score. Villeneuve hired Hans Zimmer for his Dune. Based on the first trailer, which incorporates Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse” from Dark Side of the Moon, I had hoped that Zimmer’s score would be an homage to Pink Floyd. He tries to do that, but it is mostly oppressive, tuneless electronic noise. I wish Villeneuve had hired Brian Tyler, who did a magnificent orchestral score for the Children of Dune miniseries.

Based on his movies Sicario and Arrival—which are well-scripted, tightly directed, artful, and thoughtful action and science fiction films—I had hoped that Denis Villeneuve would develop into the next Christopher Nolan. But he has disappointed me with Blade Runner 2049 and now Dune. These were gutsy projects, because they invited comparisons with Ridley Scott’s original Blade Runner and David Lynch’s Dune. Sadly, in both cases, Villeneuve comes out the lesser director. But in today’s film industry, that won’t hurt him a bit. He has a bright future as the next Joss Whedon or Zack Snyder, aborted talents who busily churn out high-budget, lowbrow spectacles.

The best way to sum up my feelings about Villeneuve’s Dune is that, even though he has reserved three fascinating characters—the Emperor, Feyd Rautha, and Alia—for Dune, Part II, I’m not the least bit curious to see it.

 
• Category: Arts/Letters • Tags: Hollywood, Movies, Science Fiction 
Hide 187 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. xyzxy says:

    At least the Chinese had the good sense to remove the black woman (MSM calls her a ‘British’ actress) from their version of the movie poster. And people say that Chinese aren’t creative!

  2. songbird says:
    @xyzxy

    It would have been funny if the Chinese removed Zendaya from the posters. They didn’t, though. (But probably should have.)

  3. I read Dune when I was young and enjoyed it. Then I tried reading it again later as an adult and frankly I thought it was corny, boring, and poorly written. Probably why the first movie was so bad and I won’t be watching the new version. I’ve lost interest in this type of stuff pretty much.

    • Thanks: Fr. John
    • Replies: @Zorost
  4. Rahan says:

    These were gutsy projects, because they invited comparisons with Ridley Scott’s original Blade Runner and David Lynch’s Dune. Sadly, in both cases, Villeneuve comes out the lesser director.

    If today someone manages to do a film which is only 20% or only 30% worse than the 1982 Blade Runner or the 1984 Dune, that’s already a triumph. Sad, but there it is.

    In the late 1990s with the Matrix we all thought this was the start of an incredible new chapter, but it turned out to be a final salute instead.

    Then circa 2010 there was a cluster of things like Inception, Avatar, Wall-E, and Game of Thrones, and this also turned out to be a very transitionary blimp on the road to decline.

    As a viewer and a reader I have made the transition from “this is going to be amazing”, “I hope this won’t be absolutely terrible”. I now go to the cinema with a flask in my inner pocket, and by the first 20 minutes it becomes apparent should I start taking swigs in order to make it through the film.

    This started circa 2005, and the only films where the flask sat unused were Nolan films (not counting the backward timeflow film, this used up the whole flask fast), Avatar, and Wall-E. Everything else needed a booze boost.

    They even managed to make Murder on the Orient Express utterly terrible. But hey, Poirot needs nuance and class. Things that do not seem to be available, suddenly.

    The Mr. Bean chap (Rowan Atkinson) did a couple of surprisingly excellent Maigret TV flicks 5-6 years ago. But it was filmed in Eastern Europe, and Atkinson is old school enough to know class.

    All the real writers of sci-fi, fantasy, and thrillers are also a hundred years old now. The crop after them are absolute pigmies. Absolutely stunted little shits with 10% the talent.

    Even in high lit. When Franzen counts as a pillar of classy lit you know you’re screwed. When he’s suddenly already an old dinosaur compared to whom the newer names are sucky imitations, well… Well…

    Iain Banks could write in 2 months a novel which today is beyond the reach of any of the new peeps even if they spend ten years on it. Not that anyone has that ability to focus these days.

    The Anglospherical pop culture industry is already hoovering up the last available external talents from continental Europe and Asia. After that comes the implosion.

    • Agree: Angharad, Zorost
    • LOL: InnerCynic
  5. Alfa158 says:

    There is a great documentary on the Jodorwsky Dune. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1935156 Even though it was never made, it has influenced movies ever since. Jodorowsky and his artists assembled several copies of the scene by scene storyboards into thick volumes. These storyboards were distributed to studios in an attempt to get backing for the movie, and although all of them passed on the project, most of them kept the storyboards and studied them. Subsequent sci-fi movies have images and scenes that were lifted directly and unashamedly from those Dune storyboards.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  6. Pheasant says:

    ‘Dune is an objectively good story. Casting nonwhite actors in white roles doesn’t change that. But it is a calculated insult to the author and to white audiences, who are getting mighty sick of it.’

    Damn racists on the internet! Whadda ya gonna do! Next they will be complaining about James Bond!

    ‘but like Lynch, he depicts the desert world of Arrakis as dark, gloomy, and ugly. This is a shocking lapse of taste and simple, basic showmanship. Deserts are beautiful places. Just look at David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia

    Lean, by the way, would have been the perfect director for Dune. He knew how to create epics. He knew how to photograph deserts, palaces, hovels, and battles, and make every frame look like a great European painting’.

    Almost like… Star Wars! Which has as its motivating mythos gnosticism rather than Islam which is what Dune derived its inspiration from. Many background shots in Staw Wars were literal (perspective) paintings.

    Personally Starship Troopers (the novel not the film) is closest to my politics- wonder why the reviewer has never made a review of it?
    Anyway Dune had a reputation as being unfilmable and unless the makers had a budget as big as Lord of the Rings will probably remain so.

  7. @Priss Factor

    Cool! How in Kale did you find this?

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  8. Of course audiences are willing to sit through long movies if they are really good: Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, for instance.

    Peter Jackson’s films are not really good. They are a heavily condensed version of the books, replete with gross CGI and dumbed down for an adolescent audience.
    I did watch the original film of Dune in the 1980s and it was much better than Jackson’s efforts.

    • Disagree: Catdog, Fr. John
    • Replies: @John Johnson
  9. @xyzxy

    She should not have been in the cast.
    She is like a fly in a glass of chardonnay.

  10. Ian Smith says:

    I know I’m in the minority but I loved the new Dune movie. Yeah, there’s a stronk black woman scientist in the cast… and then she gets eaten by a sand worm!

    In all seriousness, I thought it was visually splendid, well acted, and did a good job of showing rather than telling. We see the mentats, for example, and infer that they’re human computers.

    I also loved Blade Runner 2049, so I guess I’m a heretic.

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
  11. Anonymous[239] • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t remember a single note from the Sci-Fi series score.
    Really? I thought this set of scenes (where Paul consolidates power Godfather-style) was brilliantly done to this tune:

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  12. Anonymous[112] • Disclaimer says:

    An empty and forgettable movie. It’s actually so forgettable that people might end up watching it several times before it registers. The only thing I’ll remember is that even Paul and Leto Atreides were non-whites in the movie.

    No white person should ever pay for anti-white propaganda like this. If you’re curious, torrent it.

    • Agree: 3g4me
    • Replies: @Angharad
  13. aborted talents who busily churn out high-budget, lowbrow spectacles.

  14. Objarc says:

    What really struck me while watching recently released movies (including DUNE) are POC being cast in roles that clearly reflect the historical reality and actual cultural experiences of Europeans. These delusions are now continually being reinforced by this type of MSM propoganda. A new “History” is being created out of thin air “supporting” POC that is insanity.

    Success requires intelligence, perserverance, being accountable for one’s actions and being FULLY committed to the Truth, not playing victim cards and fantasizing about where you came from. The actual reality displayed year after year (especially during the last two years) by the “Culture” the POC demonstrate will continue to be outragious with the expected followup excuses that racism is the reason they fail. Given the way things are going (and that fantasy movies are the reality most people believe these days) it’s going to go from bad to much much worse. Asian, White and Hispanic (amoung others) cultures include histories of large scale cooperation, creation and mutual support within their respective tribes. Show me any written language, long term city building or rich cultural achievements by native Africians. BTW, I don’t consider music encouraging the whoring of women, killing police and gangst RAP to be in this category — enough said.

    Remember: Those that control the present, controls the past, those that control the past controls the future.

    • Agree: Vinnyvette
  15. I went through a “Duniac” phase when the David Lynch movie came out (I was in college at the time) and, consequently, did not like the film at all. Over the decades, I have come to appreciate it more simply because I consider it a stand alone work of art, based on the novel but not the same as the novel. What David Lynch got right was the brogue styling of everything in the movie. I especially liked the design of the guild highliners and especially the third-stage guild navigators. I do not like the styling in the Syfi mini-series that came out in the early ought’s. I also thought the actors in the Lynch film were quite good as well.

    Herbert has quite compelling reasons for his belief that liberal democracy will not take mankind to the stars and that mankind can only spread across the galaxy by returning to archaic social forms like hereditary monarchy, feudalism, and initiatic spiritual orders.

    Actually it will be the Heinleinian competent who will go to the stars. My favorite social form is the “adhocracy” depicted as Chironian in the James P Hogan novel “Voyage from Yesteryear”.

  16. Ivymike says:

    I’m a country boy, I’ve seen dead cows in the summer pasture bloated up all tight with funky juices squeezing out their orifices, legs impossibly straight, feet to the sky. That is the work of Frank Herbert.
    There are very few copies left of Daniel F. Galouye’s Lords Of The Psychon. Wish somebody would find a copy and make a good movie of it.

  17. As Dune illustrates, our fantasy lives, which show us what we really want, clearly haven’t adapted to the social ideology of the Enlightenment yet, despite a quarter-millennium of propaganda about the evils of monarchy, aristocracy, hierarchy, tribalism, patriarchy, racism and so forth.

    Instead man can apparently find his fulfillment by living in a pre-Enlightenment sort of social structure. Which I suspect we might see the restoration of eventually, just through differential fertility. As I tell the trainwreck broads I know in the cryonics subculture, a technologically competent society in the future which could revive them from cryostasis will probably look like a cross between The Expanse and The Handmaid’s Tale, with some Dune thrown in to spice things up.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    , @Mehen
  18. @Anonymous

    This is from Children of Dune, not Dune. As I said above, I think Brian Tyler’s score for Children of Dune is excellent, the best of any Dune-related scores.

    • Replies: @R2b
  19. Dumbo says:

    I read the first Dune book and maybe one of the sequels when I was 12 or 13. I enjoyed it but didn’t find it all that amazing. I was more into Asimov at the time.

    I saw Lynch’s Dune. Like many things he does, great scenes and atmosphere, in particular some grotesque characters, but the whole was disjointed and confusing. In that case, though, perhaps it was not his fault, but the producers’ and the editing.

    Villeneuve is one of the most overrated directors working nowadays. I haven’t seen anything by him that’s really good.

    2049 was boring and had underwhelming visuals. Then again, I didn’t find the original Blade Runner all that great either (although surely a masterpiece in production design).

  20. Angharad says:
    @Rahan

    The degradation of literature and other arts forms is not confined to science fiction. Every year, as Halloween approaches, I enjoy delving and wallowing in ghost/horror stories. I try to purchase a new anthology every year, in order to promote new talent, etc. I gave up a about 2 years ago. The conception and execution of “supernatural” literature is abysmal. It’s all just grotesque yet boring gore. The language used is at a kindergarten level. Simply dreadful, and not worth one moment of my time, nor one red penny. I have a decent collection of “old school” literature at hand; I simply pull out my well worn tomes, and enjoy!

    Why are you wasting one second of your precious time and money on something that forces you to get drunk to get through it? Your time is infinitely more valuable than stupid, ugly trash.

    • Replies: @Rahan
  21. Lean, by the way, would have been the perfect director for Dune.

    Lean had no sense of the weird and grotesque.

    Welles, Kubrick, Bunuel, Teshigahara, Boorman, Friedkin, Imamura, Lang, Herzog, Murnau, Dante, Jeunet, Carpenter, etc would have better. Or early Miyazaki with animation.

    Best film about dunes.

    Herbert’s vision of the future is also gloriously Eurocentric.

    But one must be careful with retro-identitariainism. In Herbert’s time, whiteness of the West was a given, hardly something one thought of.
    Even STAR WARS was all white. Up to the 60s, TV was mostly white.
    So, whiteness in art/entertainment wasn’t a statement back then but just a given, like the sky being blue.

    Dune also involves a struggle for a scarce resource, but that lends itself to vulgar Leftist materialism only if one ignores the fact that the resource’s primary use is spiritual

    Marxism discusses competition of material resources as explanation of power, but its morality is humanist. Also, modern right could be characterized as vulgar biologism.

    The chief flaw of Lynch’s Dune are the special effects. The Sci-Fi Channel has cheap special effects too.

    Lynch’s movie however was not cheap. It was very expensive at the time. But never mind the effects. It just looks ugly, like later Fellini movies and Gilliam’s garbage.

    Perhaps, Lynch’s movie might have been better with a smaller budget, allowing for the creativity of ERASERHEAD. More a warped mind trip than scifi epic.

    • Agree: Ian Smith
  22. At the end of the movie, the young hero Paul Atreides is called out to fight Jamis, a cocky, pigheaded, and deranged black man. Paul tries to avoid the fight, then deescalate the fight, but he is finally forced to kill Jamis. 

    A fatal encounter no doubt precipitated by those famous last words:

    “Fuck Timothee gon do?”

  23. Cronenberg might have good for DUNE.

    • Agree: Mehen
  24. Angharad says:
    @Anonymous

    Agreed, Paul is played by a mischling jewish twink, with the face of a mouse. Hard pass.

  25. My logic runs as follows: you liked the last Bond movie. It was pretty crap (on all levels). You don’t like Dune (has Villeneuve made a single decent movie yet?). It must really be bad.

    • Agree: Director95
  26. Rahan says:
    @Angharad

    Not “drunk”, I wouldn’t call it “drunk”, let’s say “a bit muffled” 😀

    Family and social responsibilities is why. You’re very right about the horror genre too, of course. Hard to believe there was a point major publishers would promote the likes of Ramsey Campbell, who now has to deal with minuscule indie epubs, in spite of being the best post-lovecraftian stylist since Basil Copper. Like John le Carre but not pretentious.

    Hell, Graham Masterton is a titan of sophistication compared to today’s lot. They couldn’t produce something on the level of Night Warriors if their very lives were at stake.

    The last truly great novel in the genre I ran into was A Dark Matter (2010) with which ole Peter Straub suddenly peaked one last time. I think he finally gave himself permission to not try and write for the market.

    Just like Ramsey Campbell, once it became apparent he’s relegated to tiny indie epubs, also stopped writing for the market and began doing terrific moody lovecraftian stuff like the Last Revelation of the Gla’aki.

  27. KenR says:

    I went to see the new Dune with the highest of hopes, and left crushed. This movie is easily, very easily, one of the worst films I have ever seen.

    For me it was pure torture. If you do go to the theater, I highly recommend that you do not see it in IMAX, as I did. The main problem (among many problems) was the sound experience. This was a new thing for me, I have never had such a strong reaction against any soundtrack as I had here. This movie was painful. I mean, this movie actually physically hurt me to experience. The amplified hi-fi of the IMAX no doubt made it even worse.

    The music is mixed very poorly, with compressed high-freq jangly nonsense going on all that time, often at far too high decibels. It’s a buzzsaw of a score. Invariably after a long, bad, over-loud, painful musical swell, the sound would quickly settle down into a scene where all — ALL — important dialogue occurs in hushed, hurried whispers. I found myself continually reeling from these extremes. It was dizzying, uncomfortable and very much not cool.

    Maybe I’m too aurally sensitive, but again, I’ve never experienced anything like this before — a movie that actually inflicted pain to watch.

    What made it even worse is that it did all this with no payoff. It’s a dreadful, plodding film. This really becomes apparent and undeniable when you’re sitting there in pain trying to make through almost every glacial, pointless scene. When we finally made it to the end and got through Paul’s big “coming of age” moment, well what an incredible let down. It was such sweet relief to see the credits roll.

    There’s a lot more I could say about how bad the film is in other ways — seriously, in every single way imaginable this film is bad. I cannot believe anybody at all liked or even enjoyed this film at all.

    It was sheer, pointless torture on film.

    All those years of waiting for somebody to take Dune and improve on David Lynch’s problematic 1984 offering were for nought. For all its flaws (and I’m not a fan of it), it is a far superior film than this latest catastrophe.

    • Thanks: TKK
    • LOL: Che Guava
  28. For me it was pure torture. If you do go to the theater, I highly recommend that you do not see it in IMAX, as I did. The main problem (among many problems) was the sound experience.

    Watched 2046 in I-MAX.

    Walls shook. Good thing I took earplugs.

  29. @advancedatheist

    As Dune illustrates, our fantasy lives, which show us what we really want, clearly haven’t adapted to the social ideology of the Enlightenment…
    Instead man can apparently find his fulfillment by living in a pre-Enlightenment sort of social structure.

    Right, fantasy lives.

    Long ago, the reality was most girls were dirty peasants, but girls today identify with the princesses.

    Fantasy.

    We find fulfillment not in living in pre-modern times but in fantasizing as one of the lucky few in such a world.

    But then, our world is hardly egalitarian.
    Black kids wear gym shoes and feel like NBA stars but only a few make it and make all the money.

    College kids fantasize about Steve Jobs, but most will toil at some humdrum jobs while the oligarchs got everything.

    1% is now richer than the middle class, and Jews are god-men over us.

    But idiot conzos call this elite agenda ‘leftist’ and ‘communist’.

    • Replies: @SafeNow
  30. MEH 0910 says:

  31. Sulu says:

    Pretty much have to agree with this review. I suspected Dune 2021 was going to be a woke pile of horse shit when I saw the scene near the beginning that had the black basketball player representing the emperor. He looked as out of place as a pearl onion on a banana split. It was confirmed when we saw the character of Dr. Kynes was replaced by one of the ugliest black females imaginable. And saying the actress that played Chani is a 5 is being generous. She is more like a 4 hoping desperately to be mistaken for a 5 because the light is bad.

    Ian McNiece from the second Dune was the best Baron Harkonnen. Disgustingly fat, disgustingly red headed and an obvious pervert by the look of one of his feminine attendants. McNiece played the part to the hilt and helped make the second Dune movie the best I.M.H.O. The only miscast in the entire movie was Hurt as Duke Leto. His performance was as weak as one drop of piss in lake Superior. He died on screen way before his character did.

    All of this latest Dune is just more Jewish anti-White bullshit. The movie sucked. The only thing good was the C.G.I.

    The best sci-fi movie ever made was Blade Runner. And I doubt it is going to be surpassed any time soon.

    Sulu

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @jamie b.
  32. Anon[173] • Disclaimer says:

    Doctor Wellington Yueh, despite his name, was not described as Oriental or cast that way in previous adaptations. Here he is played by a Chinaman.

    I always assumed Herbert got the name from Wellington Koo, who’s little known today but would’ve been more familiar in Herbert’s time during the days of the China Lobby.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellington_Koo

    • Thanks: MEH 0910
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  33. SafeNow says:
    @Priss Factor

    Yes, the NBA-shoes delusion is bad for kids. But on the other hand, in Updike’s Rabbit at Rest (the best postwar novel), Rabbit laments that his wife failed to do for him the greatest thing that a woman can do for a man. (No, not that) Tell him that he’s the greatest. This is nice to hear, isn’t it? Of course, I have very strong suspicions that this is not true, but it’s still nice to hear this delusion.

  34. @Director95

    They also have a 4K version.

    Maybe this is why DUNE didn’t work.

    Notice the opening scene of DUNE is like that of ERASERHEAD. Lynch is no stranger to strangeness. But what makes ERASERHEAD so special is the strangeness is part of the texture of the normal. So much of ERASERHEAD looks familiar and ordinary. But strange things happen, and we are never quite sure where the ‘normal’ ends and the strange/surreal begins.
    Lynch is an artist whose specialty is a peculiar way of seeing. He can look at the most normal things in strange ways or find strange things in it. (This is also what makes Tarkovsky STALKER so beguiling.)
    But with DUNE, strangeness is baked into the cake. It’s about some faraway place in the universe. The strangeness must be literal, and it is all too familiar to the people of that world. So, there is nothing normal on which to ply Lynch’s strange way of seeing. BLUE VELVET feels nightmarish precisely because it’s set in some middle class American community with green lawns and the like. Something strange intrudes into this world both physically and psychologically. Indeed, even though the woman is physically raped, it’s like the main male character is mind-fuc*ed, and his whole way of seeing things alters. It alters our way of seeing and feeling, not only of Americana but of the self. Same goes for MULHOLLAND DR.

    ELEPHANT MAN is good but not as good as other Lynch movies because, like DUNE, the strangeness is obvious, part and parcel of the material. The ‘elephant man’ is ugly as sin and grotesque beyond belief. As the strangeness is too powerfully established, the only thing the movie does is assures us that he is human. Rather trite sermonizing.
    In contrast, ERASERHEAD is far more unnerving and tantalizing because its lead character is something between totally normal guy and a freak. Also, he reacts to the ‘baby’ as if it’s just a mouth to feed when it’s obviously monstrous. This leads to strange tensions. It’s like a process of fermentation where things rot into new normals.

    The universe of DUNE is so strange that Lynch’s strange way of seeing becomes almost irrelevant. It’s like a comedian who finds himself among clowns in a circus. Comedian needs a straight man to play against. Against clowns who push funny stuff to extremes, the comedian is rendered the straight man.

    Lynch’s take on sci-fi-like material worked in TWIN PEAKS(the early episodes he directed) and especially in part II, which is among his greatest achievement. Lynch feels most at home in Twilight-Zone-Outer-Limits universe, where the normal is visited, intruded, subverted, and etc by the strange. Indeed, it seems Lynch is partial to Normal America precisely because he’s so abnormal. He knows he’s an odd creature who sees things oddly, and he could easily get lost. So, the small town of Americana and its reassuring mythos are like a map or compass to him. Ultimately, it’s a zone of false comfort as nothing is really normal-normal because all of life is weird and twisted if one thinks about it or looks at it under a microscope. Still, without some semblance of the normal and ‘good’, we sink into the morass of long journey into darkness. We need it like vertebrae animals need their backbones. It gives some sense of shape and meaning. Same theme in ALTERED STATES by Ken Russell(whose strangeness was just a put-on).

    In this respect, it’s a missed opportunity that Lynch didn’t take up George Lucas’ offer to make a STAR WARS sequel. Frank Herbert was a weirdo who cooked up a very strange warped universe with wild ideas about ‘spices’. Lynch couldn’t out-weird Herbert.
    In contrast, STAR WARS is a pretty American-as-apple-pie Western and Road Movie in space. Lucas was inspired by John Ford, Akira Kurosawa, WWII fighter footage, FLASH GORDON. And he used space ships much like the cars in AMERICAN GRAFFITI. Also, the Force is essentially extra horsepower that revs up one’s mojo. STAR WARS is fantasy but a very straight and normal fantasy, which is why it was a super success. Lynch could have used Lucas’ vision as straight man to his odd and twisted way of seeing things. Use Luke Skywalker like the Kyle guy in BLUE VELVET. That would have been hilarious.

    In boxing, there’s a saying, ‘Never hook with a hooker’. Lynch in DUNE weirded with a weirdo and got out-weirdo-ed. Indeed, there was nothing his strangeness could do when the universe and the story were totally strange to begin with.

    • Agree: Mehen
    • Replies: @RJ Macready
  35. Anonymous[316] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sulu

    I saw the scene near the beginning that had the black basketball player representing the emperor.
    That’s actually not out of character for the Middle East aspect of the “Padishah Emperor”. Being represented by black slaves (eunuchs or otherwise) or freedmen was not uncommon for the elites of the wider Persian (or Persian -influenced like the Turks) realms. Look up the station of the “kizlar agha”. Don’t know whether the guy in the movie is portrayed as a slave, freedman or eunuch, but in Dune slavery is specifically back – Harkonnens have them for entertainment, concubines are plentiful and common in the Imperium among the elite:

    Family life of the Royal Creche is difficult for many people to understand, but I shall try to give you a capsule view of it. My father had only one real friend, I think. That was Count Hasimir Fenring, the genetic-eunuch and one of the deadliest fighters in the Imperium. The Count, a dapper and ugly little man, brought a new slave-concubine to my father one day and I was dispatched by my mother to spy on the proceedings. All of us spied on my father as a manner of self-protection. One of the slave-concubines permitted my father under the Bene Gesserit—Guild agreement could not, of course, bear a Royal Successor, but the intrigues were constant and oppressive in their similarity. We became adept, my mother and sisters and I, at avoiding subtle instruments of death. It may seem a dreadful thing to say, but I’m not at all sure my father was innocent in these attempts. A Royal Family is not like other families. Here was a new slave-concubine, then, red-haired like my father, willowy and graceful. She had a dancer’s muscles, and her training obviously had included neuro-enticement. My father looked at her for a long time as she postured unclothed before him. Finally he said: “She is too beautiful. We will save her as a gift.” You have no idea how much consternation this restraint created in the Royal Creche. Subtlety and self-control were, after all, the most deadly threats to us all.

    —“In my Father’s House” by the Princess Irulan
    https://www.tor.com/2017/02/14/rereading-frank-herberts-dune-dune-part-twelve/

    • Thanks: MEH 0910
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @sulu
  36. TKK says:

    I have HBO MAX and was ready to watch on the day it dropped, dogs walked and a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, eager to get into it.

    As soon as a black man was shown as an emperor’s power guy, 10 minutes in, I clicked it off.

    I imagine, at the end of things, I will just be in a cabin with stacks of old books.

    So be it.

    • Agree: R.G. Camara, sulu
    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
    , @Wilkey
  37. Saw it, was bored by it, the colors and visuals were all muted, dark, and boring. I never read the books or saw other versions, so the story was alien to me. This reviewer is right, Zendaya was given prominence a lot in the dreams but she’s not even close to attractive enough to be some mystical It girl.

    Note to Hollywood: stop trying to make Zendaya a thing. She’s not going to be a thing. She’s best-friend-in-a-romcom or plain-jane-love-interest-in-an-indie-movie-for-an-ugly guy — and that’s if you can get past the blackness. She’s the worst thing in all the new Spiderman movies — not only for being dowdy, but also because she’s being a snarky bitch to Spiderman instead of the googly-eyed red-headed girl next door bombshell love interest he deserves.

    My friend, who has read the Dune books and loved them, was royally pissed off by the film. He even commented that the constant repetition of the image of the bull was out of place — a bull is only mentioned once in the novel and is not significant at all. Drove him nuts.

    Pass on this.

  38. Tdstype2 says:
    @xyzxy

    Dont be silly. That has been debunked widely on Twitter. Also see

    • Replies: @xyzxy
  39. AReply says:

    Empire of Dune: Indigeneity, U.S. Power and a Science Fiction Classic — A Talk by Daniel Immerwahr
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=AWDCgKdmly4

  40. Anonymous[316] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    The role of black slaves in prominent positions in the Ottoman Empire is more popular, but even in lesser-known dynasties like the Qajars of Persia.

    Chief of the royal harem, Haji Sarvar Khan I’timad al-Harem, [the black dude in a white suit] seen standing to the right of Nasir al-Din Shah, ruled the eunuchs from 1887 until the Shah’s assassination in 1896. Haji Sarvar Khan held the keys to the royal quarters and the harem doors, managed the dozens of eunuchs of the royal harem, and served as intermediary between the Shah, the royal women, court officers, and high-ranking dignitaries.

    https://indian-ocean.africa.si.edu/in-qajar-persia/

    I’m certainly no expert on Dune, but from what I’ve read about it, it seems Herbert was inspired by the palace politics of the gunpowder empires. Why else would he have chosen “Padishah” for the title of ruler of his fictional galactic empire?

    great king; emperor (a title applied especially formerly to the shah of Iran, the sultan of Turkey, and to the British sovereign as emperor in India)
    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/padishah

    The British thing seemed weird to me until I looked it up on wiki and it seems likely they won the title by defeating the Mughals who called themselves the “Padishah of Hindustan”.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mughal_emperors

    Anyway, a black guy representing the emperor as part of the imperial retinue is not surprising if Herbert took his inspiration from historical practice in the Near East especially if it was implied that the guy was part of the imperial household as a slave or freedman – I guess I’ll have to watch the movie and see if they include that kind of detail, but I doubt they would given the current political climate.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  41. Another review:

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2021/10/villeneuves-dune-reviewing-the-reviewers-and-a-review.html

    Though I’m an SF fan, the stuff I like doesn’t include any of Frank Herbert’s works. I didn’t like the novel Dune at all, and that’s probably why I skipped the first movie. If Strether’s review has any validity, I may someday get a copy of this one and play it with the sound muted to see if the visuals are as nice as he claims.

  42. jamie b. says:
    @Priss Factor

    I mostly liked this version, but thought it was really weird when the navigator lost his cool. Was that something Lynch wrote? Quite jarring.

  43. Mehen says:

    I think your review is mostly correct, with a few caveats.

    Regarding the pace (what you call “boring”) you should keep in mind that this film is a remarkable development in Current Year. We are talking about millennials and zoomers who in all likelihood have no familiarity with the literature, which is a very dense plot. I believe the director chose a languid pace in order for the naive audience to have any conception of the drama/intrigue.

    I love Jodorowsky but I feel his Dune would have been far too kitsch and abstruse. I do however understand the appeal of a Pink Floyd soundtrack, and became erect when I heard the cover of “Eclipse” in the trailer. Pity it was not included in the final product.

    Speaking of that, I have to disagree with you regarding the final soundtrack. I thought it was eminently suitable, if not quite “Interstellar” level. Have you heard the Interstellar soundtrack? You don’t like Zimmer? What are you, some kind of anti-Semite?

    Ultimately, I think this film is a fabulous development (despite the many flaws you outline) and I get the sense many young people will end up reading the source material, and then — who knows?

  44. I always thought the thing about Dune (the novel) was that the concepts and ideas in it were really interesting, but the actual story architecture was just another tedious dynastic power struggle put in a blender with a Chosen One/Messiah riff. Yawn. I don’t think any of the characters are actually memorable as characters. There are no emotional surprises in the story. Give me the Wars of the Roses any day.

    It’ll never happen of course, but I wish somebody could do a film of JC Wright’s trippy “Awake in the Night Land”. That would blow a few minds.

  45. Mehen says:
    @advancedatheist

    Sounds like you need to hear Jay Dyer’s informed analysis of Dune:

  46. I enjoyed this review. Thank you.

  47. Frank Herbert’s Original Dune was the first “Climate Change” movie. Arrakis was Earth 8,000 years into the future, if anyone hasn’t figured that out.
    This new Dune has great updated CGI, but is weak as far as the original film’s ability to due true justice of the book.
    How could they leave out Guild Navigators, the very essence of folding space getting from Caladan to Arrakis it to any other part of the universe? I mean, seriously???
    If it gets a new generation of new Dune fans to see the original film, than it’s all good.

  48. @Priss Factor

    It’s a fan edit of the 1984 Dune, adding back a lot of the expository voice-overs De Laurentiis wisely cut.

    Eliminating most of the exposition was one of the best aspects of the 2021 Dune.

    Like 2001, leave exposition to the book.

  49. Villeneuve’s movie is beautiful, but it drains so much drama out of several key scenes in Dune that I began to feel as if he was purposely trying to make an art film.

    First, there are too many dream sequences. Yes, Paul’s dreams are a major part of Herbert’s novel, but they don’t translate well to the screen. Villeneuve should have cut half of them. How many times did I need to see Chani’s face before, you know, actually seeing Chani?

    Second, the most dramatic early scenes in the first half of Dune – the Gurney Halleck training session on Caladan; the hunter-seeker scene with Paul and Shadout Mapes; Duke Leto and Paul’s first experience with a sandworm; Paul and Jessica’s crash in the desert, their subsequent scramble for safety and their first meeting with Stilgar and Chani – are all underplayed dramatically.

    Third, the fight scenes are not very well done. The first fight between the Sardauker and the Fremen, for example, should’ve been heavily choreographed and taken a good five minutes of screen time. We need to witness the ferocity of both, but also the superiority of the latter, for it will presage many of the battles to come.

    Fourth, some of the dialogue sounds tinny and inauthentic. Chani’s final “This is just the beginning” was soul-crushing in its contemporary feeling that seems to wink at the audience who yearns for the sequel. I would’ve much preferred “Tell me about the waters of your home world, Usul.” And Chani’s opening exposition about her people being oppressed, which was echoed later by Dr Liet-Kynes, did not sound Fremen-like at all. Where were the warrior women who threw their babies at Sardaukers? The lines sounded more like they came from Frantz Fanon than from a Fremen.

    I did like some parts of the film. The use of the “Voice” was superb, the best I’ve seen in showing how it would work. I also loved the hand signals. They were used excellently in Lady Jessica’s meeting with Shadout Mapes. Stellan Skarsgard’s Baron Harkonnen looked and sounded perfect, much more dangerous and less clownish than the Kenneth McMillan performance in Lynch’s film or the gay Ian McNeice turn of the character in the 2000 mini-series.

    But it wasn’t enough. Too many keys scenes were underdramatized, leaving me first bored and finally frustrated by what might have been.

    • Agree: Wilkey
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  50. @TKK

    As soon as a black man was shown as an emperor’s power guy, 10 minutes in, I clicked it off.

    Negro fatigue is real.

    The film got much, much worse. You saved more than two hours of your life with a simple click of the remote. Good move.

  51. Mehen says:
    @KenR

    You come across as a skinny sensitive faggot.

    • Disagree: Old Prude
  52. sulu says:
    @Anonymous

    That’s actually not out of character for the Middle East aspect of the “Padishah Emperor”. Being represented by black slaves (eunuchs or otherwise) or freedmen was not uncommon for the elites of the wider Persian (or Persian -influenced like the Turks) realms.

    And I suppose that also explains why the White male character of Dr. Kynes was replaced by an ugly black woman. Was it common in Persia at that time for White males to spontaneously change into black females? Or Chani being black?

    Sorry, but you are trying to fob me off with history. All of the movie is anti-White woke Jewish Hollywood bullshit. I torrented the movie since I refuse to give the Jews a dime. They had a chance to make a great movie but they blew it by insisting on going woke. If the movie had been really great I might have relented and caught it at matinee prices to see it on the big screen. But no, it’s a hard pass for me. Hollywood can die on the vine for all I care. I have terabytes of old Westerns on my hard drive anyway.

    Sulu

  53. @KenR

    I went to see the new Dune with the highest of hopes, and left crushed. This movie is easily, very easily, one of the worst films I have ever seen.

    For me it was pure torture. If you do go to the theater, I highly recommend that you do not see it in IMAX, as I did. The main problem (among many problems) was the sound experience. This was a new thing for me, I have never had such a strong reaction against any soundtrack as I had here. This movie was painful. I mean, this movie actually physically hurt me to experience. The amplified hi-fi of the IMAX no doubt made it even worse.

    The music is mixed very poorly, with compressed high-freq jangly nonsense going on all that time, often at far too high decibels. It’s a buzzsaw of a score. Invariably after a long, bad, over-loud, painful musical swell, the sound would quickly settle down into a scene where all — ALL — important dialogue occurs in hushed, hurried whispers. I found myself continually reeling from these extremes. …

    What made it even worse is that it did all this with no payoff. It’s a dreadful, plodding film. This really becomes apparent and undeniable when you’re sitting there in pain trying to make through almost every glacial, pointless scene. …

    I saw it in a conventional theatre, and the sound was bad enough there. I usually like slow films if something is actually being conveyed, but in this case, I felt there was a lot of empty gesturing toward something significant, plus the futile attempts to make Zendaya seem glamorous. The new Bond, No Time to Die, is even longer, but it seemed shorter because it has far more substance.

    • Agree: Sulu
  54. “the imperium is ruled by honor-driven aristocrats and mystical initiates, not by merchants. ”

    Ok, Lynch didn’t read the novel. Opinion dismissed. Don’t waste your time reading this. Control of CHOAM is the real basis of power in the Imperium.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
    , @Anonymous
  55. dimples says:

    ” the resource’s primary use is spiritual ”

    This is totally incorrect. The spice is used to prolong lifespans, it powers the Bene Gesserit’s various superpowers, and the Guild pilots absolutely requires it to get where they are going. The spice’s use is for power, not spirituality.

  56. Koserte says:

    “to say nothing of rip-offs like Star Wars.”

    Didnt they steal that from Kurosawa?

    • Replies: @theMann
  57. Mr Gen says:
    @Priss Factor

    It’s a fan edit of the 1984 film, and it’s excellent. A lot of original footage has been put back in – there are a few minutes of really bad footage – but they serve the story. The pacing and storytelling are far more natural than the commercial release, in a film around 3 1/2 hours long. It’s amazing what can be done with a home computer and dedication.

  58. xyzxy says:
    @Tdstype2

    Global Times article about the movie shows the poster without the negro. LOL

    But even if you can find Chinese posters with her, they will not be the ones shown in public very often. And it’s the movie companies that print up these posters. They are the ones who know the truth. And the truth about China is that a movie starring black folk isn’t going to be a blockbuster over there. Because of that, film distributers minimize their presence. And you’ll never see the hot Chinese actress falling in love with and having sex with the magic negro. Not going to happen. That’s reserved by Jewish Hollywood for America white women.

    https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1237269.shtml

  59. theMann says:
    @Koserte

    EVERYTHING is stolen from Kurasowa. Just saw The Last Duel, and while it was a better than average film for our current time, it is just another remake of Rashamon.

    Seriously, Hollywood never had an original idea. And, this is a big and, those clowns have execrable taste as well. Hence the lock ‘n load on a piece of drivel like Dune, when so many great SciFi stories go unfilled.

  60. Fr. John says:

    “…remains under the iron ban of a syncretic form of Christianity.”

    I have NEVER heard this in all reviews of this boring, trite, obnoxious novel, in over forty years of reading!

    Pardon me, but your Christophobia is showing. I left the theater in the 1980’s when the pimple-faced faggot ‘pulled the plug’ on the young man. I don’t need to see pornography, masquerading as art.

    I’ve tried four times to read this POS, and just canNOT get into it. Why bother, then, to critique a bad version of a third-rate novel? Because the characters are ‘Euro-centric’? For sheer ‘Oh, goody, Hollyweird let’s us see White folk as leading men, after subjecting us to the most ugly representations of Negroid flesh- Whoopi Goldberg, Morgan Freeman, Sammy Jackson, Larry Fishburne, et al.?

    Cry me a river. Repatriate all Xenoi, and restore the White Ethnostate our Great-grandparents believed would endure for centuries. End of story.

    • Disagree: CSFurious
  61. @Anonymous

    Anyway, a black guy representing the emperor as part of the imperial retinue is not surprising if Herbert took his inspiration from historical practice in the Near East especially if it was implied that the guy was part of the imperial household as a slave or freedman – I guess I’ll have to watch the movie and see if they include that kind of detail, but I doubt they would given the current political climate.

    It isn’t in Herbert at all. It is a scene invented for the movie.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  62. R2b says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    If you also are Greg Johnson, can you please change cover on that book!
    The yellow and red balls.
    You can’t have such in a proper book-shelf.

  63. @The_MasterWang

    “the imperium is ruled by honor-driven aristocrats and mystical initiates, not by merchants. ”

    Ok, Lynch didn’t read the novel. Opinion dismissed. Don’t waste your time reading this. Control of CHOAM is the real basis of power in the Imperium.

    Who controls CHOAM? The emperor and the noble houses (honor-driven aristocrats) plus the Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild (mystical initiates).

    • Replies: @The_MasterWang
  64. @Trevor Lynch

    Just how honor-driven can they be when they struggle with each other for control over the merchants?

    I will give you the witches but the shipping monopoly? You are stretching.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
    , @dimples
  65. Maddaugh says:

    Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, Part 1 is now in theatres. I can’t recommend it. It isn’t terrible. It is merely mediocre. I found it dull to the eyes, grating to the ears, and a drag on my patience

    Maddaugh says: Hollywood;s latest flick (choose any release) in now in theatres. I cannot recommend it. It isn’t terrible, it isn”t mediocre, it is absolute shit. It is dull to the eyes, dull to the ears and dull to my patience. Worse however it DULLS my mind.

    At the movies, one pays hard earned money to put junk into one’s body (Sodas, popcorn and chocolate bars) and junk into one’s mind.

    We stump up to endure the absolute trash from Hollywood STARRING empty headed ex waiters, recovering female porn stars, LBGTQ JHUYFTYFBMNLKHLJ apostles, trangender, non binary, semi binary, full binary and pan and non pan sexual freaks, ex alcoholics, existing drug addicts, rapists and child molesters who have risen to the top, at least temporarily, in the Hollywood cesspool.

    Take it as an iron clad rule. All that comes out of Juicewood is sheer rubbish. Get a good non-fiction book from the library, you will win in every way, enhancing your bank account and your mind and avoid spending 90 minutes of your life staring at the latest batch of east coast degenerates.

    • LOL: Sulu
  66. dorane says:
    @KenR

    Earplugs would help with the decibels, at least.

  67. New movies out of Hollywood are generally something to avoid if you want quality. Plenty of old films to review that are more worth your time. Look back to move forward.

    That said, mostly so I could spend time with a cousin I like, I saw a preview for this while watching the latest Bond film a couple weeks ago. The preview suggested a weak, tech-obsessed & shallow, skin-deep, identity-driven mess much like the latest Bond film, as described in this review. All About Eve, My Dinner with Andre and/or Babette’s Feast would be my recommended tonics to get that nasty taste out of your mouth. Have a nice day!

  68. With his epicene looks Timothy Chalamet to stick to something he knows how to do: Playing catamites. Who knows? With more experience he could be the next Tony Randalll or Paul Lynde.

    • Agree: CSFurious
  69. Anonymous[318] • Disclaimer says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    That is a good point, I don’t remember that in the book, but it’s been years since I read it so I thought perhaps it was a detail I forgot.

  70. heymrguda says:

    Wife and I watched it on HBOmax last night and were unimpressed. Thought Lynch did more with his version despite time and special effects constraints, I was especially disappointed with the rendering of the sandworms which were shown to great effect in the lynch film.

    • Replies: @Simon
  71. Anonymous[318] • Disclaimer says:
    @The_MasterWang

    What’s interesting is the implication that none of these are in charge. Both the Bene Gesserit and Paul talk about this.

    The Fremen jihad, as unleashed upon the galaxy in the next books wiped away all of the old order along with billions of people in the wake of this genetic storm.

    “The race knows its own mortality and it fears stagnation of its heredity. It’s in the bloodstream–the urge to mingle genetic strains without plan. The Imperium, the CHOAM Company, all the Great Houses, they are but bits of flotsam in the path of the flood.”
    –The Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohaim

    “He [Paul] found that he could no longer hate the Bene Gesserit or the Emperor or even the Harkonnens. They were all caught up in the need of their race to renew its scattered inheritance, to cross and mingle and infuse their bloodlines in a great new pooling of genes. And the race knew only one sure way for this—the ancient way, the tried and certain way that rolled over everything in its path: jihad.”

    An underlying theme in the book is this need for humanity to prevent genetic stagnation and isolation. This had happened under the prevailing order of the ruling houses, emperor, the Guild, CHAOM, etc. Despite all the plans of the Bene Gesserit and other major players, once this comes to a crescendo, the need cannot be denied or held back. Paul, by being able to see the future, simply realizes his own part as just a player – even if extremely central – in this juggernaut that is beyond his, or anyone’s, control.

  72. Hacienda says:

    On the ugliness of the actors:

    They are victims themselves. Sometimes race mixing in a haphazard, random way is insulting to the actors’ looks. Zendaya looks out of place. And the poster does a lot of grief to her. The hero looks inert, gay as f+ck. None of these people are really beautiful or handsome in their proper context to begin with. The black guy looks tragic. He’s physically alpha over the Jew, but is being sacrificed to beta Jew fantasy. But Asian men went thru a long process like this before getting our own industries.

    On movies:

    Don’t watch them. One or two a year is torture enough. It is a homo-Jew assault. Beta and even omega vengeance. Stay away. Kill it by not feeding it.

    On the comments here:

    Good stuff. But dead men crying.

    • Agree: CSFurious
  73. jamie b. says:
    @KenR

    For many years now I’ve been stuffing tissue paper into my ears when watching movies. This is mostly to prevent my tensor tympani spasms, but it also really helps mute extreme decibel ranges. The sound at movies is so loud these days that one can still hear soft dialogue without any real muffling from the ear plugs.

  74. CSFurious says:

    I am still watching it but I also do not like the “Woke” casting and also find the film somewhat tedious. I would rather read the book for the tenth time.

  75. About the race swapping in of itself is not woke. It has certainly been a tool for wokeness to be sure but as long as they get the essence of the character correctly I won’t care what their racial ethnicity is. Anyone who says it’s woke well it’s bullshit. Sometimes it looks woke at the surface but quite the opposite in the content. It’s the novel brought to the big screen. It doesn’t talk down the male characters in fact for once it gives several stand up male role models such as Duke Leto and Duncan Idaho. Midnight’s Edge and Doomcock have given their thumbs up and I highly trust their word. Now as for the score I can completely understand the criticism there. Hans Zimmer needs to branch out more.

    • Replies: @Sulu
  76. @The_MasterWang

    Just how honor-driven can they be when they struggle with each other for control over the merchants?

    I will give you the witches but the shipping monopoly? You are stretching.

    Every society has merchants. Merchants either rule or they are ruled. In Herbert’s universe, they are ruled by people who rate honor and ideas more than money. The battle between the Atreides and the Harkonnens was supposedly based on the disgrace of a distant Harkonnen ancestor. Baron Harkonnen is relatively mercantile, for instance, he never thought of the military potential of the Fremen, but he was willing to part with billions to destroy the Atreides.

    As for the Guild, Herbert envisioned it as a mystical order.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @The_MasterWang
  77. Villeneuve’s movie is beautiful, but it drains so much drama out of several key scenes in Dune that I began to feel as if he was purposely trying to make an art film.

    2046 is great to look at but ridiculous conceptually. Villeneuve didn’t write the script though.

    PRISONERS looks great too but has a ludicrous premise. Also, it aestheticizes cruelty yo such degree that it becomes distasteful.

    ARRIVAL has an interesting twist but otherwise was arty hokum.

    Did Villeneuve only visualize or fully conceptualize the new DUNE?

    • Replies: @Dumbo
  78. Wilkey says:
    @Rahan

    They even managed to make Murder on the Orient Express utterly terrible.

    The cinematography and music (Patrick Doyle) for it were lush, and Branagh is always enjoyable as an actor. But of course the plot had to hinge on racism and anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism and racism, and focused way too much on Poirot himself.

    Given the setting for the next in the series, Death on the Nile, and the fact that it has the same writer (Michael Green, who also wrote Green Lantern and Jungle Cruise) it’s hard to imagine that it won’t have more of the same. Branagh should have done himself a favor and changed out the writers.

    • Replies: @Rahan
  79. DUNE sounds all the world has been turned into the Sinai desert for neo- or futuro-biblicalism.

    What’s the worm? The serpent?

    Is there a bald lady in the movie? I can’t stand that.

  80. Wilkey says:
    @TKK

    As soon as a black man was shown as an emperor’s power guy, 10 minutes in, I clicked it off.

    That actor actually had presence. I liked him.

    I guess maybe I’m halfway to brainwashed. I’m not bothered by “diversity” so much as casting awful actors for the sake of diversity, as AppleTV has done with the Foundation series. They’ve utterly ruined it.

    Dune’s diversity doesn’t really bother me, because most of the actors, aside from Kynes, know how to act.

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
  81. Sulu says:
    @jamie b.

    Yes, that is exactly what I meant. It somehow added to the disgust of the character. The color just seemed to underline his decadence.

    As an aside I had several red headed girlfriends in my youth and I find the color scheme quite charming. Pink and White. There is nothing hotter than a hot red head. Beautiful for young girls. But not so for fat unsympathetic characters.

    Sulu

  82. Sulu says:

    Q: Why are films called a “medium.”

    A: Because they are rarely well done.

    It’s the same with Dune. Long on great CGI. Long on black actors taking over formerly White characters. Short on everything else. In short, the movie sucks. Glad I torrented it as opposed to paying for it.

    Sulu

  83. Read the book back in the 70’s when I was a teenager.

    Watched the 84 movie last week, never saw it at the time. What dreck! Like a bad made for tv movie. It would have been bad even in the 80’s.

    Read this review, which lowered my expectations. Downloaded the 21 version and have just finished watching it. Seems 50 x better than the Lynch version, have to say it.

    All the whinging about the out of place racial stereotypes is like complaining about water being wet. All American cultural output is this way. If you cannot discount it, you know, like when you don’t say the words out loud when you read, well, you should not watch.

    • Agree: theMann
    • Replies: @Sulu
    , @theMann
  84. One reason Hollywood makes bad films is their fear of the mean things that their trade journalists will write about them if they don’t push the “woke” agenda.

    Frank Herbert was a “woke” one’ but, he hid it better.

  85. @Alfa158

    There is a great documentary on the Jodorwsky Dune.

    Jodorowsky was a junk director. EL TOPO the cult film is garbage. SANTE SANGRE is just ludicrous. Worse, Jodorowsky isn’t a natural film-maker. Like Gilliam, his vision results in heap of shambles.

    Still, HOLY MOUNTAIN has some arresting images.

  86. Sulu says:
    @Leander Starr

    All the whinging about the out of place racial stereotypes is like complaining about water being wet.

    Well, you are in the ballpark. It’s like having someone piss down your back and then tell you it is only a warm rain. If you enjoy being pissed on then by all means feel free to gargle.

    Sulu

  87. Sulu says:
    @Jonathan Gillispie

    Anyone who says it’s woke well it’s bullshit.

    I do hope for your sake that you are young. Because if you are you may eventually manage to pull your head out of your ass. “Woke” is exactly what it is. In fact the entire movie is the definition of woke.
    And if you’re not young? Well, there is no fool like an old fool.

    Sulu

  88. Funny. I’ve read and own a fair amount of Trevor/Greg’s work, and I never picked up on his fondness for Pink Floyd.

    Shine on you crazy diamond. It’s always good to meet a Floydian.

  89. Computer technology is a great leveler. Without it, humanity must fall back on natural gifts, which are rare. To refine these gifts and make them more common, eugenics is practiced. Biological sex differences are recognized.

    Among the hoi polloi, yes, in the sense that even a dummy can use a smartphone for basic stuff and video games.
    But computer technology has increased the divide between the smart/elites and the rest. Thus, success in high-tech selects the naturally gifted far above the rest.
    It was largely the rise of the computers that made the Soviet Union obsolete in technology. It could build hardware but couldn’t fine-tune the machinery for complex operation.

    And it was computer technology that left Japan in the dust. Germany is now a powerhouse of engineering and manufacturing but hardly at the cutting edge of technology.

    Within the US, the rise of computers has led to great divisions in the economy. Google, Facebook, Apple, and etc have taken over entire sectors.. while entire parts of the US is in economic free fall.

    When technology used to be mostly about hardware, even third world nations seemed to be catching up with the West. But with high-tech computers and the like, the advanced countries are pushing further ahead while the backward ones are being left behind.

    Anyone can attain basic skills of using computers and the internet but an increasingly smaller number of people can create new technology and make big bucks in high tech. You gotta be smarter and smarter to stay ahead of the field.

    It seems to be DUNE isn’t about relying on ‘natural’ gifts but mystical ones, though given sci-fi explanation. In a way, a lot of these sci-fi stories are based on the dreams of the Third World when confronted with the West with its superior technology. There was the idea that, despite the West’s advantage in material power, the Rest could rely on their power of vision, prophecy, magic, and mysticism. The Boxer Rebellion in China was based on the mystical idea that the rebels would be bullet-proof. Hindus believed in the Brahamic mind-power to divine the secrets of the universe and unlock them for power.

    The West pioneered the modern world by making a clear distinction between material reality and spiritual vision. In contrast, the Rest hadn’t arrived at such distinction and, if anything, believed it was violated and offended the very ‘tao’ or dharma of things where all things were unified by some ‘spirit’ or ‘essence’. Some argue that Christianity had a role in the rise of materialism in the West. Christianity says God is high above. Spirit is with God, and the world is just fallen pile of materiality. So, while man worships God as the keeper of spiritual flame, everything else could be studied coldly and rationally. In contrast, the Rest tended to believe that EVERYTHING was imbued with some spiritual essence. Hindus believed it could exist in animals, like cows. Chinese were superstitious with Feng Shui. They feared technology for it could disrupt The Way of things.

    [MORE]

    Even though part of appeal of sci-fi is the futurism of more advanced technology in the future or some other part of the universe, the bigger appeal is the dream of power beyond science, rationality, materialism. In 2001, there is the monolith. In SOLARIS, there is the mind-planet that defies man’s attempts to understand it. In FAHRENHEIT 451, every book takes on the sanctity of the Bible as Modernity bans anything ‘irrational’ and introspective. STAR WARS has the Force.

    Even modern nations wanted to believe that cosmic or mythical power could be on their side. The stuff of destiny. So, Japanese invoked the kamikaze, the divine wind that saved Japan from the Mongol invasion. Hitler was inspired by Wagnerian operas with gods, heroes, and monsters. His history was like a grand opera. And when the Soviet Union was falling behind the West in technology, it relied more on the quasi-spiritual aspect of Marxism, i.e. Karl Marx the great prophet-moses of communism had seen the future, and for sure, communism would prevail over capitalism… because the great prophet had said so. And Mao’s Great Leap Forward was inspired as much by Chinese mythology as Communism: the folkloric tales of gods intervening to help mankind move mountains.

    But in the end, power is about material advantages. US, UK, and USSR simply had more manpower and material, and Japan/Germany were doomed in WWII. And no amount of Mussolini’s fantasies of New Rome could reverse the fact that Italy was a third-rate power full of cowardly mama’s boys who soiled their pants at the sound of first gunfire. No amount of Wing Chun mumbo jumbo can make Kung Fu effective against the more rationally devised Mixed-Martial-Arts. No amount of great white hopedom could make whites beat blacks in sports. And the atom bomb was the product of science, not mumbo jumbo. And science and technology at their farthest edge is limited to a few. If anything, science and technology draw out the best in Natural Gifts. Only the naturally smart can expand new boundaries in physics, chemistry, medicine, high-tech. The rest of us are just consumers who push buttons for messaging and entertainment.

    The appeal of mumbo-jumbo is it’s the great leveler, at least in fantasy. Even a Negro who can’t do math can believe in the Force and fantasize being a Jedi knight with magical power. Even a short guy can pretend he has magical powers like Yoda and be a great master-warrior.
    The ‘natural gifts’ in Dune are fantastical because they can’t exist in reality. They are godlike gifts we wish we had but don’t and never will. It’s beyond mere intelligence or physical power. Rather, it’s power that can only exist in imagination, in the spiritual realm. And that is the appeal of sci-fi.
    While only smart people can really get science, anyone can pontificate about religion and mythology and magic and the like.
    Sci-fi, by introducing all sorts of paranormal stuff into the mix(even though ‘scientifically’ explained), has mass appeal because there’s always some kind of strange ‘power’ to bridge the gap between the possible and impossible. Via sci-fi, one can even imagine Wakanda.

    Granted, not all imagination is the same. The Romans had their gods but their power was really based on manpower and technological warfare. Jews, for all their dreams of deliverance and messiah, were no match for the Roman material and manpower. No amount of hopes and prayers could make the Jews prevail over sheer material advantage of the Romans.

    Still, the power of Jewish imagination conceived of the more powerful God and more inspiring vision of salvation, and this colonized the hearts and minds of Romans… though by the way of heretical Jews who were rejected by the Jewish community.

    Also, material power isn’t enough as people are emotional and seek high passions. So, the US, the most advanced power, has come to worship the cult of George Floyd the Magic Saint Negro who apparently was resurrected and rose to heaven to say Sheeeeeeeeiiiiiiit to all of humanity.

    And wokeness increasingly fuses mumbo jumbo spiritual thinking into science. There is talk of voodoo as science and medicine. There is talk of Black Girl Magic.
    Homos and trannies are like more evolved ultra-beings we must revere.
    And the Jews… they are merely smart and rich but holy and sacred, and many people, religious or secular, believe good things come to those who worship Jews and bad things come to those who dishonor them. Mumbo-Jumbo.

  90. Anonymous[154] • Disclaimer says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    Every society has merchants.

    Every society has parasitic elites who pose as nobility or whatever who produce little and make others do most of the fighting while they enjoy most of the privilege that is justified on account of ‘honor’ which amounts to little more than status vanity and egotism.

  91. @Pincher Martin

    Maybe this will get through, Pincher Martin. I tried to reply to what you wrote to me on Steve Sailer’s blog, but alas, Ron Unz’s program thinks I need to slow down. Funny how that does not at all facilitate the dialog I think he values.

    Anyway, here is my reply, should it get through:

    [MORE]

    I never think of myself as a fast reader, though my wife somehow thinks I am. (We often work together on things.) Anyway, c’mon man! You must be familiar with the practice of just deciding that something is not worth your time. I’ve known about Dune since a little Jewish girl in my seventh-grade English class did a book report on it — in 1973.

    My report was on the Foundation Trilogy.

    Maybe I should read Dune, but my wife just created a concoction of sautéd turkey breast with vegetables. She is very inventive, and this is a practice run for Thanksgiving, far more interesting than someone’s imaginary “spice.”

    And here is what you wrote to me:

    But of course one can fill up hours, days, weeks, months, years wasting time on items that take just minutes. If you’re willing to read two film reviews on this latest movie you aren’t willing to see based on the book you aren’t willing to read, then are you also willing to read three reviews? … four? …five? … more?

    And how often would you do this for different movies you aren’t willing to see based on books you aren’t willing to read? Surely, it’s not just Dune.

    When I was in college, in an effort to become better informed about contemporary political issues and criticism, I tried to read from cover to cover all the political and literary periodicals of the day: National Review, Commentary, TNR, The Nation, NYRoB, etc. I soon found I couldn’t read anything else. Reading the average political or literary article doesn’t take that long, but reading them all sure does.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  92. Anonymous[211] • Disclaimer says:
    @xyzxy

    It seems that casting thought the film title was… Dune Coon.

    • LOL: Sulu, InnerCynic
    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  93. @Sulu

    “Red hair and black leather, my favorite colour scheme.”

    — Richard Thompson, “1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” best song ever.

  94. TheMoon says:

    Stop giving money to Hollywood. Y’all dumfuks can’t even stop doing that. Pirate it if you must waste your time with it.

    • Agree: Sulu
  95. anon[986] • Disclaimer says:

    I liked it except for some of the scenes and characters they cut and I suppose the non white cast. But the nonwhite cast for this movie is just an acceptance of the non white future of America. America is now majority-minority. The official stats put it at 58% nonhispanic white but that’s up against 335 million people, there are actually 360 million people in America, coupled with the loads of Jews, crypto Jews and mena people that are counted as nonhispanic white, you’ll find out that the European population of America is around 48% at best, it’s probably lower.

    America – 48%
    Canada – 60%
    New Zealand – 56% [ a lot of white kiwis are part maori]
    Australia – 68%
    South Africa – 7%
    Europe – 84%

    2100 prediction
    America – 8% European
    Canada – 10%
    New Zealand – 10%
    South Africa – 0%
    Australia – 20%
    Europe – 44%

  96. theMann says:
    @Leander Starr

    Water went out in my building so I just caught the matinee showing on the big Epic screen. The film is not that bad, and really, it has to do two things:

    1. Be entertaining on it’s own, which it is.
    2. Be better than the Lynch version (admittedly a very low bar, the Lynch version is so bad it heads into Myra Breckinridge territory).
    Which it is: much better acted, better visually, the story line isnt incoherent gibberish.

    Note on Zendaya- all she would need to pass as a guy is a haircut and a change of clothes. She is one of the few biologically female performers able to give the Prancing Faggots in Hollywood even half a chubby. I expect to see her in a lot more films.

  97. So, this spice thing is like oil, and that’s why the sandy world matters.

    For a long time, the Middle East didn’t mean much. Sometimes, the Persians ruled over it, sometimes, the Ottoman Turks did. Or Arab nomads raided whatever they could. But it was mostly dry desert and not much grew on but dates. For sure, one reason why Ottomans kept creeping northward was there was better land in Europe than in the arid lands of the Middle East.

    But then, modern world happened. And West learned to use new kinds of energy, and the most important was oil. UK and France wanted access to the oil. Germany was doomed in WWII because it didn’t have access to the oil. Japanese advance was halted in its tracks when US refused to sell it any more oil.

    The Middle East, which used to be ignored by all sides, suddenly became the hottest center of the universe during the imperial wars and in the Cold War. Russia had oil but Europe didn’t, and US was using more than it produced and had to buy from the Middle East, and so did East Asia of course.

    Arabs and Muslims had all the ‘spice’ of modern machinery.

    And yet, the region is also remembered as the source of the great religions. Judaism arose there, and its offshoot was Christianity. Islam also started in the desert. So, historically and spiritually, the deserts of the Middle East provided the world with spice of spirituality, and in the modern period, it became the source of spice of energy that lit the cities and fueled the factories all around the world.
    If the Old Crusade was about regaining control of the Holy Lands, the new crusade was about gaining control of the Oily Lands.

    Spice in DUNE seems like a fusion of Middle Eastern spirituality and Middle Eastern Oil.

    On top of that, Jews decided to take back their long lost lands, further complicating matters. Also, Jews not only took over Zion but were gaining control over many institutions of power in the West, which further complicated matters.

    In DUNE, the deserts are not the source of oil but of a certain spice, but this spice is like oil for the mind. It powers the mind to awesome reaches of vision, remembrance, understanding, and prophecy, like oil powered modern societies to new heights unimaginable before.

    And unlike the real world where what we imagine doesn’t affect the laws of nature, the DUNE universe is where there is no clear division between mind-reality and material-reality as both warp in and out of each other. In our world, no matter how much wisdom or insight you gain as sage, visionary, philosopher, and etc, it doesn’t change the laws of the universe one iota. But in DUNE, the alterations and disturbances in mindscape can somehow affect the outside world. And that’s why the mind-oil matters so much to the folks in DUNE.

    In this respect, Lynch could have made a very interesting movie out of the material because his works are also about psycho-biological portals between mental space and material world. But it seems he opted partly for camp and partly for kiddie movie spectacle, and he never really explored the possibilities of merging his sensibilities with that of Herbert.

    Western progress was increasingly about the power to draw a distinction between material reality(and laws of nature) and mystical/speculative worldview. The West began to reject the notion of mystery and believed there is a material reason for every phenomena. Even when the non-West and Western traditionalists insisted that the mystical and mysterious were interwoven with the material and actual, the modern West denied such fuzzy thinking and sought clear and precise explanations for all things, and this led to rise of physics, chemistry, biology, and etc. Disease wasn’t about some spiritual imbalance but micro-organisms that could finally be seen under a microscope. No amount of imagination, however inspired and original, and no amount of wishful thinking could change the way things really are. Atomic bomb beat the Divine Wind in World War II because the former was totally based on laws of science whereas the latter was based on mysticism.

    And yet, scientists search for the ultimate source of power(through theory) and the ultimate expression of power(via technology), and in that, they do have a god-complex. Though invested in understanding reality as it really is, they mean to take this understanding and form technology that can expand man’s power into something akin to gods.

  98. @Trevor Lynch

    The feud started when an ancient Harkonnen hesitated during a battle against the Thinking Machines who took millions of humans and used them as shields and was called a coward by an Atreides who just blasted through them. How noble of the Atreides.

  99. dimples says:
    @The_MasterWang

    I agree, Trevor Lynch has a very odd view of DuneWorld. The aristocrats are all trying to kill each other by various subterfuges all the time, Paul Atreides spends most of his time training against personal attacks of one cunning type or another. It’s also Paul Atreides who uses atomic weapons (against all honor) to gain control of Arrakis, then oversees a galaxy wide jihad that kills billions. There does not seem to be any ‘spirituality’ in Dune at all. There are no religions, except fake ones set up to allow control of the populaces. It’s all about power, the gaining of and using of. It’s the book’s main characteristic.

    • Replies: @dimples
    , @The_MasterWang
  100. @Anonymous

    It seems that casting thought the film title was… Dune Coon.

    The title on the poster reads like ‘DUNC’. Maybe blacks will confuse for it DUNK and see it as a basketball movie.

  101. dimples says:
    @dimples

    And of course I forgot to mention that the lynchpin of the story is the betrayal of House Atreides by the Emperor who worries that the Atreides are becoming too popular. Thus the Emperor lures them to Arrakis in a setup to be cunningly slaughtered by the Harkonnens. Not much evidence of an honor bound aristocracy there. Trevor Lynch seems to have been reading a different book.

  102. @dimples

    And he said the universe is “eurocentric”. Herbert imbued his universe with so much Middle Eastern influence Space Islam/Middle East became a trope and can be seen in other Sci-fi works.

    Also, the Atreides are cynical enough to know good and noble deeds only count when you have effective propaganda. The first Atreides troops to arrive at Arrakis was the propaganda corps.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  103. Having read Dune multiple times over the years, I don’t see why it’s supposedly “unfilmable”.
    Cripes, *I* could do better than this latest abortion. Just follow the book!
    IMHO the best thing about David Lynch’s version was the casting, followed closely by the portrayal of body shields. The worst was the “weirding modules” – but that was almost understandable, because of the difficulty of portraying the extreme, almost superhuman abilities of adepts like the Lady Jessica or (of course) Paul himself.

    • Replies: @The_MasterWang
  104. Anonymous[811] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    That’s almost certainly where Herbert got the name. Herbert was a speechwriter for a GOP senator in the 50s, when being pro- Republic of China i.e. Taiwan was a major cause among many Republicans.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  105. @Buzz Mohawk

    Dune is a very good novel. Several years ago, I decided to read all the important books of my childhood – Watership Down, Dune, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, A Wrinkle in Time, Flatland, A Wind in the Door, Charlotte’s Web, etc.

    Most were unreadable. I couldn’t finish The Hobbit, for example. But I liked the novel as a kid.

    Dune was one of the few on the list that held up to an adult reader.

    I can understand someone who doesn’t want to ruin a novel they are quite fond of by watching a film adaptation that might ruin their own vision of the story, but I don’t know what to make of someone who compares and contrasts films reviews of a movie they will never see based on a book they will never read.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  106. ES says:

    I haven’t watched this yet, but I downloaded it and skipped though it at 1-minute intervals (Ctrl-right-aroow) in VLC to get a sense of the visuals. It’s depressing. About half of the scenes are so dark and low contrast, that I can’t make anything out. Even the “bright” outdoor daylight scenes are shaded, like it’s a cloudy overcast day on the desert planet. It’s like an Andrew Wyeth painting, hardly any color. I didn’t spot a single red object or bit of clothing. They might as well have used black & white film. Modern sci-fi producers like to use poor lighting to create atmosphere and hide set defects, but it’s not much fun for the viewer. I’d rather see the set and maybe have to overlook some defect. It’s easy to do if the story is interesting. It’s hard to get interested when you can’t see what’s happening.

    I watched the 1984 version years ago when it came to television. Not having read the book, or even heard of it, I could not make sense of the story (ok, floating Baron, giant sand worms, and a drug called spice; definitely left me with no desire to read the book). But some of the visuals were cool (floating Baron, giant sand worms). And the sets were properly lit. I wouldn’t pay to watch it in a theater, but good enough for a night’s television viewing.

  107. Rahan says:
    @Wilkey

    As a viewer I “believe” Branagh in for example Hamlet (1996) or Wallander.

    In Tenet or Poirot I don’t believe him. He’s still as talented as always, but seems to be somehow on autopilot. The same on the surface, but a deeper layer missing somewhere down below…

  108. @Anonymous

    That’s almost certainly where Herbert got the name. Herbert was a speechwriter for a GOP senator in the 50s, when being pro- Republic of China i.e. Taiwan was a major cause among many Republicans.

    Interestingly enough, the actor who plays Dr. Yueh in this film is Taiwanese, and he uses Mandarin Chinese in one scene with Paul.

  109. @Priss Factor

    I am a filmmaker and found your comment intriguing. When you say strange do you mean the look and atmosphere of the film? I find the atmosphere of Mulholland drive haunting. Its achieved by a combination of the film stock which has a dreamy texture and subdued sound design. Same goes for most of Lynchs films. There is a strangeness and unease to the white picket town in Blue velvet which I can feel but cannot explain.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  110. @Pincher Martin

    I don’t know what to make of someone who compares and contrasts films reviews of a movie they will never see based on a book they will never read.

    Okay, I understand. Your point is logical.

    First, I am addicted to Steve’s blog, so I comment when I feel compelled, which is practically every day. Dune is just a curiosity for me. I choose not to read it or to watch a movie of it (which almost always is worse) simply because I have learned enough about it over the past 50 years to know.

    So, I encounter two reviews, simultaneously on my favorite webzine on the same day. What would you have me do? Would you have me ignore it? As I said, it only took me a few minutes to read both reviews. I learned something, but particularly from contrasting the two.

    In case you don’t know, lots of people learn from reading reviews. That is part of the purpose of reviews.

    Botton line (hey, there’s a 21st Century phrase) “bottom line,” it is okay to read reviews about things you never intend to read or watch. That is one of the purposes of reviews.

    • Thanks: Pincher Martin
  111. One helluva desert movie.

  112. Dumbo says:
    @Priss Factor

    “2046” doesn’t even look the same universe as Blade Runner. The art direction is all over the place.

    “Arrival” was ludicrous. The original short story was at least intriguing, they turned it into the usual Hollywood movie with a “science genius chick” and a ticking bomb plot. Cliches and cliches.

    Villeneuve is trash. A mediocre, overhyped director, like Tarantino.

    I don’t like much Wes Anderson, but he has a certain individual and very recognizable style. Like Lynch, like other more personal directors. I don’t see anything in Villeneuve.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  113. @Macumazahn

    There’s a whole chapter in Dune that is simply impossible to translate into film. When Paul is going through the Spice Agony.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  114. @The_MasterWang

    There’s a whole chapter in Dune that is simply impossible to translate into film. When Paul is going through the Spice Agony.

    Lynch did a quite creditable job representing this passage from Herbert in Paul’s visions and also in the space folding sequence: “a region where a wind blew and sparks glared, where rings of light expanded and contracted, where rows of tumescent white shapes flowed over and under and around the lights, driven by darkness and a wind out of nowhere.”

  115. @Dumbo

    “2046” doesn’t even look the same universe as Blade Runner. The art direction is all over the place.

    In a way, I think the sequel is closer to the spirit of Hampton Fancher’s original adaptation. Ridley Scott did away with most the thematic elements and focused on style and visuals, and it worked beautifully. Fancher had fashioned a very serious story out of Philip Dick’s absurdist story. Scott, coming from advertising, was more an eye-man than idea-man. Consider what he did with THE DUELLISTS. It’s all action and style.

    The sequel is far more serious and goes for depth lacking in the original, but there’s simply isn’t enough substance to warrant such pretensions. Also, Villeneuve fused the look of the original with Tarkovsky-isms that are totally misplaced in the universe Scott created. Scott’s version is about the ethereality of truth — no matter what one has seen, experienced, or felt, however grand and awesome, it remains but a fragile bit of data in the brain, human or android, fading quietly and eternally in the blink of an eye at death’s door. It’s about poignancy. The sequel, on the other hand, tries to mold an entire cult out of the material, what with Rachel giving miracle birth and inspiring a quasi-christian awakening among androids which is ludicrous. Still, 2046 is a triumph of effects and visuals, and I give it high marks for those alone.

    ARRIVAL had a rather touching twist. At some point, the squid-like aliens are ‘personalized’ in a way we hadn’t seen before in movies. Instead of simply being The Other, they were shown to have individuality and ‘personal’ issues as well. But either the material was too thin for the overly arty treatment or the treatment was too arty for the thin material.

    Difference between Villeneuve and Tarantino is the latter emerged as an iconoclast. For all his homages and reverences for the movies and pop culture he loves, Tarantino’s a vandal with a graffiti can(until he made ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, which stands out among his later works). Villeneuve, on the other hand, is a iconographic director, very reverential, almost devout in his approach to cinema. But when he gives stained glass treatment to trashy material like PRISONERS, it seems a waste of talent. A shallow talent but talent just the same.

  116. @RJ Macready

    When you say strange do you mean the look and atmosphere of the film? I find the atmosphere of Mulholland drive haunting.

    Sure, but the look and atmosphere emanates from something deeper. True strangeness arises from within and affects its outward manifestation. Fake strangeness just applies whatever seems weird on the surface. Lynch is innately strange with a core sensibility that processes things differently.
    This is why people can imitate the style of Lynch without possessing the inner substance from which that strangeness arises. It’s the difference between fragrance coming from the apple and the scent of apple applied to plastic fake apples.

    True and Fake can exist within the same artist. Ingmar Bergman’s PERSONA was clearly inspired by some trauma and nightmare vision he had no control of. It emerged from within.
    But then, he sought to make a companion piece but lacked the inspiration and just pasted a lot of strange things on the material. It was HOUR OF THE WOLF. Technically, just as bold as PERSONA but the whole thing seems fake and contrived.

  117. @The_MasterWang

    And he said the universe is “eurocentric”. Herbert imbued his universe with so much Middle Eastern influence Space Islam/Middle East became a trope and can be seen in other Sci-fi works.

    Both Lynch and you seem to miss the meaning of ‘eurocentric’.

    Lynch seems to think it’s about filling a story full of white folks, and you seem to think something isn’t ‘eurocentric’ if it’s inspired by non-white folks and cultures.

    Actually, ‘eurocentric’ just means from the perspective of the Western World. Thus, an ‘Orientalist’ story could be filled with nothing but nonwhites but still could be ‘eurocentric’ in that it’s an exotic imagination about the Other through the Western lens of fascination, prejudice, fantasy, envy, contempt, romanticism, condescension, and/or etc.

    John Ford’s CHEYENNE AUTUMN is mostly about American Indians and sympathetic to Red Folks, but it’s still ‘eurocentric’ or ‘whitocentric’ because it’s about WHITE feelings about the Indians than about vision of the world from a genuine Indian perspective.
    Indeed, in this sense, even most anti-white movies with ‘diversity’ are ‘eurocentric’ as they’re motivated mostly by ‘white guilt’ and white notions of what redemption must entail.
    Or, at least that used to be the case. In the past, white guilt stories were the works of white people, but today, whites are so manipulated by Jews that most ‘white guilt’ stories are essentially Judeo-centric, i.e. how to manipulate white hearts/minds to serve the core of Jewish Power.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @The_MasterWang
  118. Anonymous[318] • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor

    Very good points.

  119. @Rahan

    Weird. Every single word of your comment was simply spot-on – correct, perfectly judged and witty to boot. And then… this travesty…!!

    … (not counting the backward timeflow film, this used up the whole flask fast)…

    The film whose name you are struggling to remember – the magnificent and luxuriously-intelligent Memento, by the magic of which most of those unable to appreciate it are automatically self-excluded due to their inability to think backwards for a change – is, I believe, one of Nolan’s very highest creative points as Director in multiple ways, and should be gratefully celebrated as such.

    • Replies: @Rahan
  120. i am an hour in and it plods . . .

    all of the people regardless of what planet or civilization all sound the same —

    as for color — i understand that the tendency to embrace all things white as the constant. and while i am sure there is comfort in tall white aliens with golden hair the larger reality is probably that not other civilizations other earthly are probably composed of far richer skin tone and biology than is comfortable for most —-

    so that regard the film at least pretends that actual biological diversity among the millions of galaxies , if it exists — is probably accurate

    and the digital tech doesn’t help the film from its flat feel

    ———————-

    for all of the angst and tensions over spice politics, civilization and personal ambition the film sorely lacks from conveying that sense
    ————————

    as one who appreciates science fiction from tom swift to stranger in a strange land – which stretches the bounds of mysticism — i would have read dune for that reason

    but i have come to appreciate mr lynch’s version –

    even without miss dern

  121. @Priss Factor

    Then any work of art created by Whites is “eurocentric”.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  122. Book. 7/10
    Dune 1984 8/10
    Dune 2021 6/10 Lighting, sound track, Baron was evil but not mad. No navigator plot.

  123. @The_MasterWang

    Then any work of art created by Whites is “eurocentric”.

    In perspective, that is true and almost unavoidable. Even anti-white politics of whites folks is the product of Western Tradition. For example, all this handwringing about the ‘sin’ of slavery. But pathological guilt about past slavery is a white thing. It never existed in any part of the world.
    Do you see Muslims crying about how they once enslaved blacks and Christians? No.

    Still, even if the value-system is eurocentrist, it can be anti-white and anti-European.
    We see this with the cult of ‘white fragility’. It’s about whites using white consciousness against whiteness. Know that your white mentality is invariably ‘racist’ and always work against your own nature and tendencies. Even your ‘white guilt’ is bad because it gives you false hope that you’re a better person because you ‘care’. This kind of madness is uniquely white(at least under Jewish control), but it is programmed to work against whiteness.

    Blacks are afrocentric or blackocentric but it sure doesn’t prevent them from killing one another.

    Anyway, one thing for sure, a Jew can make an all-white movie to make whites look bad. Present them as mindless bigots. And a white person can make an all-black movie and make blacks look bad. Present them as savage retards.

    JEW SUSS by Veit Harlan is interesting. One might say it’s quasi-Judeo-centric as so much is seen through the eyes of its Jewish character. And yet, it’s meant to expose the devious soul of the Jew. Thus, it’s like Nazi-Judeo-Centric.

    • Replies: @The_MasterWang
  124. @Priss Factor

    Then the terms “eurocentric” becomes a label and does not inform. I don’t know if many White artists will agree with you. Some must have attempted to create “universal” art. You are saying this is metaphysically impossible.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Priss Factor
  125. Anonymous[318] • Disclaimer says:
    @The_MasterWang

    Don’t know if he is saying it’s completely impossible. It may be possible for a European who immerses themselves so completely that they completely understand another paradigm. Maybe like those kids that were kidnapped by Native American tribes in raids and raised by them. Or even like these guys.

    Originally an atheist from the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass, Mr Tsevma, 55, now refers to himself as Nik Mohammed. He is a father of four, speaks fluent Dari, the Afghan dialect of Persian, and has become a practising Muslim.
    In his beige baggy tunic, he sits surrounded by his family on a bed outside his house, resting his arm on a walking aid as his smiling two-year-old grandson tries to get his attention.
    “I’ve built my life here and I’m an Afghan now,” he says in Dari, with no hint of a Ukrainian accent.

    https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/asia/i-m-an-afghan-now-the-soviet-soldiers-who-never-left-the-country-they-invaded-1.891894

    A man like that guy probably knows how an Afghan actually thinks and can appreciate the world through the eyes of an Afghan.

    In Dune, Paul straddles both worlds, eventually becoming more Fremen in many ways and thought patterns than his upbringing.

  126. @The_MasterWang

    Then the terms “eurocentric” becomes a label and does not inform.

    Why do you think anti-whites keep realizing that even white anti-whiteness is also ‘white supremacy’?

  127. Rahan says:
    @Dave Bowman

    On contre, monsignor, I was struggling to remember Tenet:)
    Memento was great and the one about the stage magicians was also badass.

  128. Anonimko says:

    Couple questions to anyone:

    What is the etymology of the word Sardaukar? Where this came from?
    What about throat singing, i.e. chanting – where this came from?
    The Sardaukar were the elite military force. Based on which (European) soldiers they were modelled (Spartans, Alexander the Great army, Roman Empire elite legions)?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @anonlb
  129. Anonymous[318] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonimko

    Not sure, but if the Persian influence can be assumed (“Padishah” emperor’s troops)…there might be two possible derivations I can think of.

    First, it is a bastardized version of the title “sardar”.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sardar

    Second, in Persian, the word “sard” means “cold” and “kaar” means “work/occupation/task”, which could hint at the ruthless and cold-hearted tasks they were assigned. Don’t know if Herbert ever gave specific insights.

    Quite possibly these guys were modeled on elite soldiers of the Middle or Near East where entire armies – or specialized divisions – were made up exclusively of slave soldiers. Often slaves – owned by the state – brought up from teen years or earlier and taught martial skills from the start.

    Since then on, most of the dynasties ruling the central Islamic lands availed themselves of slave soldiers. Among these military corps, the best known are probably the Ottoman Janissaries and the Egyptian Mamluks, the latter being virtually the sole to have been systematically studied in modern times.
    Safavid slave soldiers (usually indicated as golams) are fully part of this political and military tradition. Mainly recruited among Georgian, Armenian and North Caucasian renegades, they were employed in increasingly great number starting with the end of the 16th century in both the army and the administration (although they were present and active in Persia, to a lesser extent, in earlier years as well). Eventually, they became the backbone of both until 1722, when the Safavids were overthrown by the Afghan invasion.

    https://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/iran/research/cultural-and-social-history-premodern/military-slavery-in-safavid-persia

    Again, all on the assumption there is a Persian influence in play.

    Dune doesn’t seem to be clear whether the Sardaukar were owned by the emperor or not. They were trained on secret grounds on the prison planet Salusa Secundus. I don’t recall whether they were prisoners pressed into service in exchange for pardon. This is what a fan site says.

    Members of the Sardaukar were raised from a young age in a ferocious natural environment that saw almost half (6 out of every 13) die before the age of 11. Intense training gave them formidable swordsmanship and espionage abilities, and instilled in them a religious fervor that added to their mystique and served to make them even more loyal to the imperial house.

    https://dune.fandom.com/wiki/Sardaukar

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
  130. anonlb says:
    @Anonimko

    Sardaukars are Ottoman Janissaries. Whole Dune story is inspired by Ottoman empire. Frank Herbert studied Ottoman archives and this inspired him to write Dune: Padishah emperor is Ottoman sultan, freemans are compilation of various folks which oposed ottoman rule(from saudis to serbs), harikonens are mix of mongols and crussaders, altreids are of course noble english people which brings freedom and human rights, etc..

  131. Zorost says:
    @abbra cadaver

    100% agree.

    Where has all the talent gone? With comedy and music one can find great talent at local venues, but the expense of film doesn’t lend itself to this sort of thing. OTOH I’ve seen super low budget movies that could have been great if done with several talented people, and only sucked because… well, everyone involved sucked.

  132. cyril says:

    Coming out of Lynch’s Dune session in ’84 with the conviction that I hadn’t understood a great story, I immersed myself in the books that I read several times and I learned to like this first wobbly version but o how powerful. It was therefore with expectation but also great apprehension that I saw the 2021 version of Villeneuve (whose previous films I really liked).

    In the end, a very polished Dune, with a crazy sound design but a visual design very “à la Villeneuve” ie …. gray
    We have variations of gray, dark gray, light gray, gray-brown … but gray

    But more important than the visual choices (Herbert describes almost nothing so all interpretations are allowed) here we have an intelligible story for novices certainly but even more watered down than that of Lynch. Welcome to the world of political correctness!
    The Baron is a villain but not too disgusting, he’s no longer the pervert depicted in the book, Navigators are standard guys in uniform with helmets filled with orange mixture, Liet Kynes went through the smelly transgender / BLM / #Woke with a black woman, we no longer use the word Jihad for fear of offending Muslims, etc etc …

    Nothing to do with what makes the richness of the book and its incredible visionary aspect on the world today.

    Denis Villeneuve transformed a very rich story (ok too for a movie, but maybe not) into an account for teens / children of rivalry between the nice atreides and the bad harkonnen + the theme pocahontas / dance with the wolves / little big man / avatar gentle savages to which the hero rallies.
    Exit the Chom, Ix, bene tleilax, Feyd who is one of the main motivations of the Baron, Irulan, the Emperor, the bluterian jihad, the Fenring account, the revelation that jessica is the baron’s daughter …

    When we see what has been done on Lord of the Rings, so famous for being infilmable, we think to ourselves that we could have had a film with a lot more layers and intrigue. Peter Jackson has certainly simplified the book, but much less than Denis Villeneuve, even if LOTR and Dune are in very different registers.

    Maybe this new gray version, very smooth and sugar free will push Lynch (I do not believe it) or De Laurentiis and the beneficiaries of Universal to release a long version of Lynch’s film like the “alternative edition Redux” version. by Spice Diver which is circulating on the net and which is really really better.

    The true version of Dune in theaters is yet to come, but it will take decades for a new generation of directors to make their voices heard once the concert of praise for this version is over.

    ..or it may be true in the end that Dune is infilmable ….

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
  133. MEH 0910 says:

  134. Che Guava says:

    I watched a fan-cut of the Smithee-extended version of Dune, suggested by Priss Factor (thanks, although corny in
    parts ).

    I had seen the Smithee ‘Director’s cut’ on video, and know that ‘Director’s cut is a lie. Sure Trevor hates it, its faults are many, even more at times in the fan extensions, I have yet to watch the longest one, I think they are true to the novel.

    Startling thing to me is the soundtrack (in the extended versions), their U.S. west coast sound of Toto at the time jars badly with the tale at the few points it appears, truly nonsensical. The idea that they made the soundtrack is hilarious.

    As for Eno, again only in the Smithee or fan-edits, there is only one brief sequence that seems to be from him, in the Harkonnen palace. maybe he did many of the droning sounds in the background, but doubt it.

  135. Dumbo says:

    Just one look at the supposed star of the movie in the poster is enough for one to reject this film outright. Is that effeminate young Jewish man a male action hero?

    Also, I find it amazing that any sane person, not to mention supposed “white nationalists” like Greg Cohen, I mean, Trevor Lynch, watch all that Hollywood trash.

    What hope is there for White People if they can’t even stop watching Hollywood movies, or NFL games? And they still have the gall to complain about the Jews…

    I hardly watch any American movies these days, they are all trash, all propaganda. All of them.

    And I’m not a “white nationalist” at all (a meaningless term, to be fair), I simply got sick of all the propaganda and the unoriginal stories that they push.

    Lately I only watch old movies or (occasionally) Asian movies.

    • Agree: Che Guava, Sulu
    • Replies: @John Johnson
  136. Did we watch the same movie? I have seen it 3 times, once on IMAX, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Maybe I am an easy sale but I don’t think so. I did not like Lynch’s version, thought it was almost a caricature. The Sci-Fi effort was obviously a tv show but interesting, much like I found Stargate interesting. I guess some people expect their mental model to be validated. I don’t tend to have that requirement.

  137. Wokechoke says:
    @xyzxy

    The sassy black Planetary Ecologist…it’s a farce.

  138. @Verymuchalive

    Peter Jackson’s films are not really good. They are a heavily condensed version of the books, replete with gross CGI and dumbed down for an adolescent audience.

    I completely agree.

    He should design Disney rides. The imagery, action and characters are there but he doesn’t know how to tell a story. I preferred that creepy 70s hobbit cartoon.

  139. @Dumbo

    Just one look at the supposed star of the movie in the poster is enough for one to reject this film outright. Is that effeminate young Jewish man a male action hero?

    It’s a really good movie and his character isn’t as effeminate as the poster.

    I hardly watch any American movies these days, they are all trash, all propaganda. All of them.

    I don’t like most of them but some of us are married.

    Lately I only watch old movies or (occasionally) Asian movies.

    I went through a phase of watching old movies and decided that the 40s/50s movies on average are even worse. They churned out a lot of formulaic crap. Movies then were actually made even more like a product where there wasn’t a single vision and they would just put directors on random projects.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  140. I’m gonna disagree with Trevor on this one.

    I enjoyed the David Lynch version but preferred the new one immensely.

    The David Lynch version would be a masterpiece if they had let him do all the editing.

    It’s just too choppy and requires watching it a couple times or knowing the story from the book. It should have been two movies and Lynch even said he thought it needed to be 3 or 4 hours.

    Still one of my favorite sci-fi movies though and I usually don’t watch sci-fi.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  141. Wokechoke says:

    I liked it. All the Imperial emissaries are black. That’s about right. Look at Lloyd Austin or Colin Powell or Condoleeza Rice. Down with the empire. Skilled sword fighting white boy cuts up a wild and crazy black/Desert scum D’Reg. I liked how Leto was given a good pilot rescue role in the film. David Lynch missed a trick there. Leto was a natural born pilot. The Baron also seems sympathetic at this point. We know he’s the messiah’s granddad. That Leto is merely the son in Law, not good enough for the daughter and that he’s been secretly shoved around by Mother Superior Mohaim. David Lynch fouled up that twist.

    I wonder what role Feyd Rautha will have? He’s the only interesting young aristocratic character yet to appear. Make him a straight up Prussian Junker. Might be funny if the craven Emperor is an Obama look alike. The empire must be crushed if so.

  142. Wokechoke says:
    @Ian Smith

    The blacks got wrecked in Dune. Every single one of them. Perhaps Shaddam ought to be a Colin Powell sort. Good laugh.

    • Replies: @Ian Smith
  143. Wokechoke says:
    @cyril

    The foreshadowing that Jessica is his daughter is well accounted for. Basically Harkonnen is savaging his son in law. He’s not happy about killing Paul. So, sofar it’s a father in law son in law conflict, next up is a grandson v grandfather fight. it’s not out the bounds of various imperial, dynastic or royal conflicts in history. I thought it was quite well put together and one can see how Star Wars was a rip off. Watered down? Hmmmm streamlined. The cringe will come when you see worm riding and the cheesy water rituals. If Vilneuve is smart he will have extended coverage for Guild, Sardaukar and Hakonnen social economic and military organisation. Fremen already look dull and fanatical. The D’Regs of the desert are the least interesting aspect of the universe here.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  144. Anonymous[310] • Disclaimer says:
    @John Johnson

    his character isn’t as effeminate as the poster

    It’s not the poster. He looks, talks and moves like a fully broken catamite. A textbook case of negative charisma and the complete inversion of the original character.

    Possibly intentional: a beyond-weak chosenite pretending to be the strong, white, literal chosen one from the books.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
    , @RJ Macready
  145. @Anonymous

    I think you are reading too much into it.

    Yes he could use a beard but he is a good actor.

    If anything he looks French and their men can be softer looking.

    The French lost their stronger men in wars going back to Napoleon.

    The Napoleonic wars were extremely brutal. Pretty much everyone that survived the early battles was killed in Russia.

  146. Anonymous[406] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wokechoke

    Until they take the entire galaxy over. One of the themes in Dune is the lethargy and stagnation of a bloated old order that is incapable of seeing the writing on the wall and evolving to meet the challenge…completely underestimating what was about to steamroll it. They are too caught up in their own customary feuds according to the rules they’ve been used to playing for millennia.

    This was hinted at when the Atriedes realize the Harkonnens had massively underestimated even their numbers. In the book, the Sardaukar mention the utter frustration in losing way too many men in their raids against the seitches to defending populations composed primarily of women, children and infirm/elderly.

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
  147. Schrader didn’t get rock culture but LIGHT OF DAY is sort of touching movie. Sure beats Eddie and the Cruisers.

  148. Wokechoke says:
    @Anonymous

    Yes the Sardaukar patrols are annihilated by small numbers of Fremen. Although the reason for that may be that the Spiced up Fremen are on same level of the Guild Pilots.

  149. Wokechoke says:
    @Anonymous

    About as good at fighting as Star Wars imperial Stormtroopers. Not much good really.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  150. Wokechoke says:
    @Wilkey

    There’s historical evidence of emperors emirs and sultans surrounding themselves with blacks. Emissaries of the US imperium are often black. It’s part of why empires are hated.

  151. Anonymous[406] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wokechoke

    Which doesn’t say much for the conscripts of the rest of the imperium since each Sardaukar was worth ten of them…no wonder why the Fremen were so successful.

  152. @Anonymous

    Chalamat is a heartthrob and you have to see it from that perspective. Were feminine boyish men(who became heartthrobs even back in the 60s or 50s) ever appealing to straight men? Leo Di Caprio was hated for years after Titanic by most men.
    The kids got charisma and hes exactly the androginy look that’s in vogue now. Chicks go nuts over him. Older ones mother him. There are articles about it. Anyway, it was a good decision from a BO pov for Villeneuve. He got the ladies in for a hard scifi show.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  153. @RJ Macready

    Probably more important in Hollywood is that Chalamet must appeal to gays. Either way, it was a bad decision by Villeneuve. There isn’t a scene in the movie in which Chalamet is convincing, as a fighter, as a charismatic leader, as an insightful mystic, as a devoted son–none of it rings true.

    • Agree: Sulu
  154. I wonder if the Scott of BLADE RUNNER coulda delivered a decent DUNE. On the evidence of BLINGDOM OF HEAVEN, no, but that came much later.

    BLADE RUNNER says much about the current condition of amnesia.

    And the sequel is suggestive of neo-christo-amnesia.

    Commercial and spiritual amnesia.

  155. MEH 0910 says:

    Cut from Dune:


    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymous
  156. Anonymous[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @MEH 0910

    Of all of those scenes, I was really hoping they would have had the banquet scene – it helps flesh out the character of Leto and adds some good background for Arrakis and its people…too bad.

    Some of these scenes would have added some good background – I found myself having to explain some of this stuff to family members I was watching with that weren’t familiar with the story or the book.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  157. MEH 0910 says:
    @Anonymous

  158. Wokechoke says:

    The treatment of Feyd Rautha could be rather good. I’m thinking a nice Etonian boy with a public schoolboy drawl and twinkle in his eye. If the Director is clever Rautha ought to be a very sympathetic charmer. After all the Harkonnen are misunderstood.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  159. Anonymous[315] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wokechoke

    Perhaps you’re right; I’m guessing that the intention of Herbert in making the Baron a predatory homosexual was likely to make him even more villainous for the readers of his time. Perhaps this may win him sympathy rainbow points in our age…the Harkonnens were led by a gay (non-cis) guy who refused to be fat-shamed!

    • LOL: sulu
    • Replies: @Wokechoke
  160. Wokechoke says:
    @Anonymous

    And Paul is the genocidal maniac.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  161. Anonymous[422] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wokechoke

    In the book (and the movie) so is Baron Harkonnen, the only issue being that he and his soldiers aren’t up to the task because they just aren’t as capable and competent. They underestimate the Fremen numbers and locations and aren’t able to carry through with wiping them out.

    Paul seems to be more the reluctant-genocidal-kind-of-guy…but in charge of very capable forces that can actually pull it off.

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
  162. Was Jabba the Hutt inspired by the fat Hawaiianess?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  163. Anonymous[422] • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor

    Or maybe this cover that came out a couple of years before Return of the Jedi…?

  164. Wokechoke says:
    @Anonymous

    Perhaps they are perhaps not. Recall that the Dregs of the Desert were estimated to be very small by The Baron but Feyd Rautha thought that they were formidable warriors.

    I’ve recently reread Seven Pillars of Wisdom and the odd thing about the Arabs is that they were lousy soldiers. Good people in general and charming but not soldiers. Got fighters in small irregular groups of 4 to 5 men. Excellent saboteurs and snipers. Lawrence outlines a kind of unreliable proto SAS or Seal Team. Here’s the thing though, No one ever tried to wipe out Arabs except perhaps the Israelis. Dune really poaches so much from SPOW. Even Lawrence has a mother son relationship like a Paul.

    Anyway the Harkonnen never attempted a genocide of Fremen. They were acting much like the British extracting oil. Almost naively so. The Baron sets up Rabban as an orge only for Feyde to be the benevolent guy who saves the Fremen from Rabban later on. The Harkonnen are mere machiavellians while Paul is a Prophet.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  165. Anonymous[258] • Disclaimer says:
    @MEH 0910

    Wow!

    You’re literally dumping Hollywood promo clips into the Unz Dot Com without even attempting to spend a single kilojoule of effort into making it look organic.

    WTF is your function on this website? This is a comment section. What kind of comment are you providing?

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  166. MEH 0910 says:
    @Anonymous

  167. Simon says:
    @heymrguda

    Totally agree. I just came back from seeing Dune on the big screen and found it a thoroughgoing bore — plodding, pretentious, and bleakly humorless, without a single exciting moment or appealing character. Lynch’s take was far more fun.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  168. @Simon

    Totally agree. I just came back from seeing Dune on the big screen and found it a thoroughgoing bore

    I heard it’s great to look at. BLADE RUNNER 2046 had a ludicrous premise and was plenty pretentious but also visually mesmerizing. So much so that I give it high marks on that alone.

    Villeneuve has a fine eye.

  169. @John Johnson

    Still one of my favorite sci-fi movies though and I usually don’t watch sci-fi.

    Maybe ‘techno-fantasy’ or ‘mytho-tech’ is better.

  170. Anonymous[253] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wokechoke

    Depends which Arabs. The early Arabs kicked everyone’s butts pretty solidly. But then they started to get lazy and outsource a bunch of their fighting to military slaves (Turkic and Caucasian and even African)as mentioned up in the thread. I think the Arabs at the time of Lawrence were good fighters but were horribly organized and uncoordinated. They actually fought well when led by the Turks or Brits or others, otherwise not very useful. Jordanians led by British officers didn’t do too bad against the Israelis.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_for_Jerusalem

    As far as genocide against Arabs, I guess it depends. The French did push Algerians out into the desert off of much of the nice coastal land. And that conflict had finished just a few years before Herbert published his first book.

    But I think Herbert borrowed themes and inspiration from various historical narratives and not just the Arabs. I think the Harkonnen fight against the Fremen was inspired by an earlier conflict, namely the Russian conquest of the Cacausus.
    https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-secret-history-of-dune/

    The article mentions even certain phrases that he lifted from Swords of Paradise. And the Caucasians were very formidable fighters/warriors. Still are – it’s amazing how many top notch fighters, wrestlers, etc. that small area of land produces.

    That war was pretty brutal and the Russians basically won through scorched earth tactics and actual genocide – look up the Circassian genocide.

    The article talks about some of these points and mentions the fact that the Baron was named Vladimir after all.

    And I remember one rendition of him in artwork from a Dune card game (I think) that made him look very much like a bloated Russian tsar or aristocrat.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  171. Ian Smith says:
    @Wokechoke

    Lol, he can tell the Landsraad that the Atreides were building WMDs!

  172. Anonymous[312] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    The article mentions even certain phrases that he lifted from Swords of Paradise.
    Oops, I meant Sabres of Paradise…

    This actually reminds me of something; Herbert would lift almost exact phrases from various places and he was pretty well-read.

    I remember coming across this statement from Reverend Mother Mohaim in the book and thought it was pretty neat – I remembered long after:
    Grave this on your memory, lad: A world is supported by four things…” she held up four big-knuckled fingers. “…the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous and the valor of the brave. But all of these things are as nothing…” She closed her fingers into a fist. “…without a ruler who knows the art of ruling. Make that the science of your tradition!

    Decades later, I would come across that quote in
    Will Durant’s magnum opus

    Apparently, it was an inscription at the entrances of colleges when Muslims were running Spain.

    On a side note, I think the rest of the Dune story should be told in two more films and not be smashed together and rushed into just a part two. The original Dune had three separate sections so it makes sense to split it logically into a trilogy.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  173. My general impression: surprisingly long film for such a short story as was presented (the frame: leaving Kaladan – being accepted by fremens). I suspect that the second part, namely jihad, will be LIVE 😉
    Messianic plot is overplayed and overtakes everything else, even spice. For example, Harkonnens are a sidenote. Everything in the movie plays on Paul, to Paul…. It is overdone. But in this context the sudden end, when the Messiah is expected to start delivering, is somehow understandable. The true messianic age is probably too big even for Denis Villeneuve, whose surname incidentally means NEW CITY = KART HADASH = CARTHAGE

    The movie has a lot of references to Biblical (Lebanon), Phoenician, Minoan and Carthaginian heritage (In ‘Blade Runner 2’, I have always suspected that replicants were the seed of serpent, better humans but not wanted….):

    1) spaceships designed as hulls of sea ships
    2) bulls, bulls everywhere: Gilgamesh fight with the Bull of Heaven on the tomb of Paul grandpa
    3) beards a la Hannibal everywhere
    4) typical serpent face of Paul
    5) general connection to the sea but ‘desert power’ which reminds us about progeny of Lilith, who is said to have lived in desert. The reason for over-abundance of sepia in Denis films may be ‘desert power’ drug…
    6) Bagipeps reminds us about Scots, namely Picts, that Celts who defied the Roman Imperial Rule
    7) in Atreides palace, composition of fishes with heads in opposite directions (popular on Carthaginian coinage)
    8) Palma as a sacred tree (popular on Carthaginian coinage)
    9) Baron says to Atreides: hello cousin, kinda Landsraad is the Great Council of Carthage, Baron in his creepinees reminds me about Hanno Giskon, an opponent of Hamilcar Barca from Gustav Flaubert “Salammbo”. In this perspective, Paul is of course Hannibal, the son of Hamilcar Barca.
    10) chevron as a symbol of Atreides
    11) fremen look like Neanderthals – dark skin and blue eyes
    12) sandworms as kinda both dragons and gods (under the name of Shai-Hulud)

    And sardaukars are Carthage dream – loyal and efficient mercenaries!

    Lacking: Emperor & his court, Guild, Navigators. It is a story of Messiah, not Dune really.
    WORST: Kynes is degraded from being played by Max von Sydow (Lynch) to some black woman (and there is absolutely no reason to look up her name). I understand some hermaphroditism was smuggled here… for those remembering a man. She-Kynes seems to have existed only to sacrifice herself for Paul, thus recognizing him as Messiah, and adding her own to the Messianic epiphany.

    Of all Dune films, this one is the most messianic.

  174. I read Dune while in high school as part of my little science fiction book club. That was 1979. When I saw the Lynch movie I knew it had been neutered to such a degree that it was a shell of what could have been. For people today to claim the effects were substandard is to forget that this was 1984 dammit! Still, upon viewing recently, there are some scenes… the one with Gurney, holding a pug while rallying the troops, are hilariously absurd. Besides… how to film a movie where the book spends most of its time inside the heads of its characters? Denis did a good job of Bladerunner and I tire of the endless bitching. If you can do better then do it. It’s all fantasy anyway and once you shuttle off this mortal coil I doubt you’ll give a damn one way or the other.

  175. @Rahan

    (not counting the backward timeflow film, this used up the whole flask fast)

    I need to start doing that. That’s too damn funny.

  176. In service of a tight, easy to follow script, Denis omitted the scene where the “3rd level Navigator” visits the Emperor for a secret chat and some diabolical scheming. A shame, because this was a highlight of Lynch’s Dune. Mixing exotic imperial grandeur with the body horror of Lynch’s own Eraserhead and the Elephant Man, it is in fact a highwater mark of science fiction film. And watching Emperor Shaddam IV swallow nervously as he waits alone for the arrival of the Navigator, conveys everything we need to know about the power these spice-mutated ex-humans wield.

    I’m sure I’ll give Lynch’s film yet another viewing in a few years. But Villeneuve’s Dune? About as much chance as rewatching Bladerunner 2049!

    For such a lauded SciFi director, the only Villeneuve films I will be revisiting are Sicario and Prisoners.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
$
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Trevor Lynch Comments via RSS
PastClassics
Becker update V1.3.2
The Surprising Elements of Talmudic Judaism
The Shaping Event of Our Modern World