Dune 2021 - fan discussion

Dwarf

LE
Book Reviewer
I wondered how they were going to deal with that, I thought it might be a bit too "women as property" for a modern audience so it probably makes sense to leave it out.
While the BG are very much a power behind the scenes, it's not really overt until the last two books and so it might be difficult to explain the apparent misogyny to a modern audience. To be honest, I suspect that Herbert's own attitude to women probably evolved over the course of writing the books. Jessica has some influence at the start but she's still just a concubine and Ghanima gets particularly short-shrift - right down to her name.
This is not necessarily to say that Herbert thought women lesser at the start - after all it's Irulan the scholar who writes most of the epigrams in the first two or three books - it's just that they tend to be ancillary to the actual story.
Lets not forget that the Dune Universe was based on a revived feudal system that allowed for control within the Empire. Because of that the female characters will be constrained within a 'man's world' just as they were in medieval times here on Earth. However depending on the type of feudal system women had more or less freedom, comparing a relatively easier system like Languedoc before the Albigensian Crusade implanted a more rigorous control to the very rigid masculine system as used by the Norman conquerors.
In Herbert's universe while the woman has to play a generally more discreet role in line with the feudal system I see them as having a major role right from the start. Jessica is a major character and player, the Bene Gesserit are a distinct force to be reckoned with and the Reverend Mothers are implanted everywhere. Chani is an important factor in Paul's development and not just as a mere appendage.
So while attitudes to women may have changed between the first and last books I do think that their 'secondary' role had more to do with the feudal system he was creating than anything else.
 

Dwarf

LE
Book Reviewer
A typically thoughtful post @Dwarf .

I have to declare my own evident bias ,in that I was a huge fan of the book and no fan at all of the David Lynch.....thing.

I was invested in this movie before I saw it; I desperately wanted it to be as good as the book as far as it could be. For me it came as close to my ' head-picture ' of Caledan and Arrakis as it was possible to get.
Aimed at the US audience, the pronunciations of 'Benny Jess erit' and ' House A'TRay Deez ' isn't how those names voiced in my head but minor detail.

As to the second question - the film is clearly titled 'Part One'.
As you know the plot, no spoiler to say it goes as far as Jessica and Paul's escape to encounter the Fremen.

The knife fight with Jamis is included but this film ends with the Atreides survivors heading into the deep desert with Stilgar's troop. Paul has met Chani - but that's it so far.

Some very nice allusions which would mean nothing to a non-reader:

- The scene with the Reverend Mother ( Charlotte Rumpable) is suitably chilling: in the book Paul can FEEL the flesh peeling off his hand in the Box. Here there is the briefest of flashes of what he is picturing in his head.

- As Paul leaves the Fremen tent in which they have survived the Coriolis storm, the camera lingers on a desert mouse hopping over the crest of the dune.....it prefigures Paul asking to be named after the desert mouse in the Fremen language ... which they call Muad D'Ib

-
The Emperor's 'prison planet' Salusa Secundus where his fanatical Sardaukar legions are trained reminded me of Brecon.....bleak, rainswept.

-
The Sardaukar whio arrive to kill Paul and Jessica at the Imperial ecology post where they initially find refuge are Imperial SS, highly trained, loyal unto death - even Atreides troops fear them.
The Fremen just casually kill them - and note that they are ' slightly better ' than the Harkonnen troops they have overcome previously.

- In the fight with Jamis, Stilgar sees that Paul could have killed him several times: Jessica has to explain that he has been trained to fight an opponent wearing a Shield - and the blow must end slowly to get past the Shield's defence. Once Jamis is dead, there is no scene with his widow and children. In the book, Paul must automatically assume responsibility for the dead man's family ( Harrah ?)

- The scene where 'The Traitor Yueh' equips Duke Leto with the gas tooth is well done. When Leto meets the wonderfully slimy Baron Harkonnen , he duly crunches down on the tooth and EVERYONE in the room dies, except .........

If you are a fan, go.

Part II is yet to be filmed. Probably dependent on this one making jaw-dropping sums of money.

I will be curious to know how a subtitled Spanish version works: the film already contains sub-titling when eg Yueh and Paul are conversing in the Atreides 'Battle tongue'...and when Paul is reading his mother's Bene Gesserit hand signals eg, during the meeting with the Shadout Mapes:

' She is armed- expect violence '

God knows what they are going to make of Count and Lady Fenris - but I look forward to watching :)

PS the other film for which Denis Villeneuve is known was ' Sicario ' - which I thought was brilliant.

Not seen the updated 'Blade Runner' so can't compare.
Thanks for that, I wanted a real fans opinion, and that has decided me to try to get to see it if I can. Any film is better in the original and I wouldn't really like to see it in dubbed version. I remember going as a family to see LOTR in Spanish as SWMBO isn't that hot on English, and the first thing my daughter said as the lights came on was "now we have to see it in English".
I will now make the effort to get down to Barcelona and have lots of details to look forward to. It helps when the director is also a fan as these details get included. I may close my eyes at Salusa Secundus/Brecon though.

I did see the new Blade Runner and quite liked it as I thought it kept the gloomy atmosphere of the original, though obviously there are glaring differences in style and story. Worth it though.

Thanks again.
 
Saw it last night. I had enjoyed the DL version when it came out though never having read the books.

SF done well in the Cinema can be very good indeed. Enjoyed both Blade runners, and Alien series.

This version is very good, the cinimatography is excellent, story well told and characters well done.

Can certainly recommend.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
....and the production company have just confirmed Part II will go ahead:


Legendary
@Legendary
·
13h

This is only the beginning... Thank you to those who have experienced
@dunemovie
so far, and those who are going in the days and weeks ahead. We're excited to continue the journey!
Image


heheheheh





 
Saw it last night. I had enjoyed the DL version when it came out though never having read the books.

SF done well in the Cinema can be very good indeed. Enjoyed both Blade runners, and Alien series.

This version is very good, the cinimatography is excellent, story well told and characters well done.

Can certainly recommend.

Your post made me realise that I only ever go to the cinema for science fiction/fantasy movies these days.

Everything else can wait for the small screen.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Well, by coincidence I've just listened to Mark Kermode's review ( he annoys the feck outta me but knows fillum) - ,in his view, definitely one to see on a big screen if you can:

Anyway, here's his take:


( Can't recall - was he the guy Russell Crowe walked out on ?)
 

Dwarf

LE
Book Reviewer
Well, by coincidence I've just listened to Mark Kermode's review ( he annoys the feck outta me but knows fillum) - ,in his view, definitely one to see on a big screen if you can:

Anyway, here's his take:


( Can't recall - was he the guy Russell Crowe walked out on ?)
Interesting review, and extremely positive. But what was the comment about colonial metaphor? Dune is set in a feudal universe, are people reading colonial history into this? If so it must be woke agenda.
 
Interesting review, and extremely positive. But what was the comment about colonial metaphor? Dune is set in a feudal universe, are people reading colonial history into this? If so it must be woke agenda.

That's Mark K's style, I'm afraid. Knows his movies but is definitely of Marxist-Freud school. Apart from that, not too bad for a commie loving, women are so much better than men cnut. IMO, of course.
 

Dwarf

LE
Book Reviewer
That's Mark K's style, I'm afraid. Knows his movies but is definitely of Marxist-Freud school. Apart from that, not too bad for a commie loving, women are so much better than men cnut. IMO, of course.
Ta, I had no igloo as to who he was. Now I do.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Interesting review, and extremely positive. But what was the comment about colonial metaphor? Dune is set in a feudal universe, are people reading colonial history into this? If so it must be woke agenda.
Yeah - I think some of the Twitterati use ANY large news item to push their own agenda.....
This is a classic example of Wokist band-wagon jumper:



( Good grief Charlie Brown..... :roll: )

I enjoyed Dune.

Dune your mum lol.
Kent - the Naafi is thataway! ===>
 
Yeah - I think some of the Twitterati use ANY large news item to push their own agenda.....
This is a classic example of Wokist band-wagon jumper:



( Good grief Charlie Brown..... :roll: )


Kent - the Naafi is thataway! ===>
Isn't the ills of colonialism/imperialism/whatever one of the themes of the Dune series? The Harkonnens are a bit like old Leopold of Belgium and the Atreides come in and try to be nicer but are ultimately just there to make money and gain influence.

As for the whole "white saviour" thing... well that's sort of the point isn't it? The Bene Gesserit have literally manipulated a whole religion based around an outside saviour purely for the purpose of protecting members of their order (they've probably done the same thing on countless other planets).
"Don't trust religion, it's a tool of those who have or seek power," is one of Herbert's main messages along with "Don't trust charismatic leaders."
Perhaps Villeneuve made a mistake by making the Fremen racially different from the Atreides when in universe the Zensunni (and probably the rest of humanity - except where there's been genetic meddling) would probably have been pretty homogenous. It's ten to twenty millennia hence after all, I doubt Earth's ethnicities would survive very long. Making Kynes black to blend in with the Fremen is also probably a mistake, he(she?) worked for the Imperium, and is an outsider who's gone native and then become infected by the BG's fake religion to the point where he's going to bugger up the ecosystem of the entire planet.
 
Bloody hell - talk about superficial readings! Look at the planetary origins of Leto's own trusted staff: from varying planets (which I can't list because spoilers).

----------

The DL 1984 version was beautiful, but terminally crippled by the fact he had to do the whole book in one film. That was never going to be possible. As a result he overdid the mystical side, pushing it hard against teh action side so that it didn't really meld with the political / House / Guild structures and actually became confusing. Religion, in the books is not just about belief, or a dangerous force to be used or abused according to powerbase (as seen in the English Tudor back and forths and previous Cathar persecutions et al). In Villeneuve's version is it almost underplayed by characters so that it is represented as a daily, in-the-bone fact of life, which plays very credibly and which also will, I suspect, develop onwards very well as the manipulation of religion for BG and fugitive Atreides politics mechanism of survival. Villeneuve's three parter (a necessary Dune trio which would not have been possible before the success of Jackson's Tolkien and to a lesser extent the Alien series) gives the space for subtleties in the book. DL had to choose between an action film giving the bare bones of the whole story or only telling part - which would not have worked.

DL's fillum is visually rich, the Imperium's future baroque settings worked well. Villeneuve's fillum is visually coded: it's not just a background - we're being fed continual hints in the visual staging. But that is the mark of auteur-school film making.

Francesca Annis was a drop-dead Jessica, who could put on the Status very well, whose personal beauty played into the courtsean role but never quite moved far enough past the Leto/Jessica love story element - a reactive reading unable to fully communicate the web of fate that they rip apart: of a planetary fiefdom gifted as a deathtrap and Leto's tragic guts to walk into it. I think the contained panic of this Jessica works well to indicate the opening depth of crisis and it will be interesting to see her dial back as she assumes control and power within the network of politics. While an attractive lady, not being an obvious top three looker plays to the other values of Bene Gesserit concubinage - her network, intelligence and the training of future heirs in many disciplines. The love story springs from shared experience, rather being a stunner.

Chalamet is a much better Paul - he is currently carefully costumed to indicate the 14 year old youth (note everything is scaled a touch too wide - even his boot tops - , emphasising his height but not bulk with potential promise that MacLachlan didn't deliver.

Patrick Stewart's Gurney will be hard to beat, as will Sian Phillip's Helen Mohaim - but then that is down to their professional ability: Charlotte Rampling's version will be interesting: it is a good casting.

On the point of the apparent subjugation of women, look deeper. I won't go full spoiler, but just point you at marriage within dynastic and spiritual powerbases across history and cultures, which is the powerbase exploited (or unexepectedly denied) by the women of the book.

The casting of Irulan will be interesting : 1984's Virginia Madsen's educated, glamourous, blonde shake-n-bake aristocratic marriage pawn with all the power and linkages in the galaxy IS subjugated and controlled - for political reasons.

Harah being taken on as a spoil of war as a result of Paul's victory over Jamis is actually an interesting cultural responsibility of the victor. It is not only a culture clash that highlights Fremen difference (like Chani being told to carry Paul's water-rings without implication - ie a marriage offer), or a version of eastern custom of being responsible for a life you saved. As Stilgar's explanation implies, it's a mechanism to preserve the families of the dead / mitigates the result of internal tribal violence; the foolish or weak die by duel but the future of a people in hiding - the breeding pool - are materially protected without loss of status. Harah gains status by being the victor's prize / responsibility. Turned down as a sexual partner she (along with her sons) gains greater status as trusted member of his family, later becoming Chani's confidante and Alia's nurse, a sayyadina herself and adviser within the family

Chani, it will turn out is not desert totty, but is already a nexus of powerbases and skills - she will bring much to Muad' Hib's table in her own right. Jessica the BG / Atreides pawn's disobedience is the hinge upon which the future turns and the Emperor's daughter, with all the apparent power and backing is the sacrifical pawn, stripped of power, influence or room to manouvre. It is fully the turning of the political wheel of fortune The feminine powerbase of the book is summed up in Jessica's end statement to Chani end "Think on it, Chani. We who carry the name of concubine... history will call us wives. "

Edit: Spilling and tidying up the fan-froth
 
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Yeah - I think some of the Twitterati use ANY large news item to push their own agenda.....
This is a classic example of Wokist band-wagon jumper:



( Good grief Charlie Brown..... :roll: )


Kent - the Naafi is thataway! ===>

There's never a Butlerian Jihad around when you need one.
 
In Villeneuve's version is it almost underplayed by characters so that it is represented as a daily, in-the-bone fact of life, which plays very credibly and which also will, I suspect, develop onwards very well as the manipulation of religion for BG and fugitive Atreides politics mechanism of survival.
The Orange Catholic Bible does seem to be quite an obvious example of a "written by committee" religious tome that's main function is political. The Great Houses seem to lack any sort of priests as part of their retinues suggesting that religion itself isn't of much interest to the ruling class. The BG is presented as a quisi religious organisation but we never see them preaching or doing any other genuine religious activity.

It'll be interesting to see how Villeneuve deals with Maud'dib's jihad, it might not happen in the original book but it is pretty explicitly trailed in his visions. How will a Hollywood film deal with a protagonist who knowingly sets in motion events that will kill billions? Will he still be a "white saviour" and the Fremen poor downtrodden (fanatically murderous) natives?
 
White saviour? With Bene Gesserit breeding programme extending back centuries from the first fremen forced diaspora? There is an argument that the Fremen are muslim-esque in religious culture but Jewish by comparative history. Even the BG concentration on matrilineal inheritance is an interesting one on that front.

It will go by the book , I think. Villeneuve is serious - and referred back to the book for every doubt - even with Zimmer regarding the soundscape. Think the Jihad will be wrapped as a tipping point in history, freeing the multitudes from centralised serfdom, only by bringing it all down can it be broken down to human scale so taht humans can take management of their own lives again.

This is the topic of the ensuing books in the series, and the later prequels written by Herbert's son, using the mass of remaining planned material Herbert had brought together before writing anything - a similar approach to Tolkien.

Paul is very much a flawed saviour of amy kind and sees himself as so, constantly visited by visions of the chaos and turmoil he will be unleashing, coupled with the paradox of prescience - is a seen future unescapable. Later fillum, following books, much spoiler to say more.
 
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Went to see it this evening at the Odeon I-sense; man some of the music scores were loud at times in an attempt to be immersive, though probably being unfair as I'm man down with a virus and couldn't get a refund on the tickets so soon. I've enjoyed Hans Zimmer's work since the 90s so it matched well with the cinematography.

I enjoy sci-fi/ fantasy regardless so thought it was an enjoyable 2.5 hours. Even the wife enjoyed it. The 'war chant' on Secundus reminded me of Viking throat singing from a Heilung song.

Agreed about the Jason Mamoa observation, seemed contrary at times to the flow of the film.

About the lack of 'suspense', I think on reflection it was just the whole 'inevitability' of the Atreides downfall.

I rate Villeneuve, Sicario and BR2049 were cracking films too.
 

Dwarf

LE
Book Reviewer
Isn't the ills of colonialism/imperialism/whatever one of the themes of the Dune series? The Harkonnens are a bit like old Leopold of Belgium and the Atreides come in and try to be nicer but are ultimately just there to make money and gain influence.

As for the whole "white saviour" thing... well that's sort of the point isn't it? The Bene Gesserit have literally manipulated a whole religion based around an outside saviour purely for the purpose of protecting members of their order (they've probably done the same thing on countless other planets).
"Don't trust religion, it's a tool of those who have or seek power," is one of Herbert's main messages along with "Don't trust charismatic leaders."
Perhaps Villeneuve made a mistake by making the Fremen racially different from the Atreides when in universe the Zensunni (and probably the rest of humanity - except where there's been genetic meddling) would probably have been pretty homogenous. It's ten to twenty millennia hence after all, I doubt Earth's ethnicities would survive very long. Making Kynes black to blend in with the Fremen is also probably a mistake, he(she?) worked for the Imperium, and is an outsider who's gone native and then become infected by the BG's fake religion to the point where he's going to bugger up the ecosystem of the entire planet.
I really don't know about that colonialism thing. The whole point of the universe is the expansion of Man into other planets with no mention of indigenous peoples.The Fremen themselves were displaced from more amenable planets where baskets of portyguls (oranges) adorn patios. It's more man's inhumanity to other men and more reminiscent of the Wars of the Roses or the medieval French provinces battling for increased power against their rivals and the Central King.

The Bene Gesserit utilise religion to further their aims, but as stated right at the beginning when Paul undergoes the Gom Jabbar test they are about politics. They maintain a certain balance while they work on producing the right bloodlines to produce the Kwisach Haderach who they can control and, while it is not explicitly stated as such, give them ultimate power in Imperial Space.

That they seed the religious idea as a safeguard for their members all over the universe is also stated but you`ll have to back up the white saviour bit as it is more of a prophet from my recall.

I don't think Herbert had a specific message unless it was a pessimism about mankind's direction as people cede more control to the rulers and/or are taken more and more under their power until a return to total subjection occurs. Religion forms only one part of this process as just like in medieval times it was a crutch for some of the people.The difference in Herbert's Universe is that the ruling class don't appear to share the religion of the peoples they rule. On Arrakis only the Fremen appear to have a religious system whereas others don't. This may be the same on other planets but we simply don't have the information only implications.

The rest of the post I tend to go along with.
 
You are right about the Sarduakar viking/ throat singing: based on Nordic / japanese fighting patterns and styling. Another group was on another melange (SWIDT) of Philliono and asian fight styles and another on yet another etc etc. Not only were two spoken and two signed languages, but a written language were created for the film. Fascinating attention to detail. It is one of the making of featurettes , but I can't locate which one at present. Will link here later when I do

Edit - corrections, link
 
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Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Thanks Naffs - plainly a long term fan, and full of insights into the bigger Dune cosmos.

Harah - ' But I am still YOUNG ! "

I have to confess I stopped at 'Children of Dune '

Back on point: if in doubt - go and see it

Do not be deterred by the critics.

Be a human - make your own mind up.
 

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