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Re: Movie Writing

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  • David F. Porteous
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 19, 2003
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      <<Ernest Tomlinson wrote: There _was_ a remake, of sorts. The Sci-Fi
      channel produced a six-hour miniseries adaptation of Dune; the only big name
      in it was William Hurt, as Leto. Hurt can be a fine actor but he's not very
      intense at the best of times, and here he appears so little engaged by the
      material as to be sleepwalking through it. There's nothing egregiously bad
      in the miniseries, except some of the acting perhaps, and some really
      obviously incongruous compugen effects, but it commits the ultimate sin of
      being boring. David Lynch's _Dune_, whacked as it is, is at least not
      that--indeed ever time I see that film, I watch in horrified fascination.>>

      I saw the videos in my local Blockbuster and decided to skip them, which
      seems to have been a good decision. Despite its unusual setting Dune is
      very much a Lynch film; it has the ability to continue entirely without any
      understanding of what's going on.

      <<He fails also (but then, how could he not?) to explain just what it is
      Paul can do that is so special; he himself explains it in terms of "the
      force that gives and the force that takes", which reminds me unfortunately
      of a hilarious exchange between Woody Allen and Louise Lasser in
      _Bananas_.>>

      Ha, yes the giving and receiving talk. The appendix to my copy of Dune --
      which bares no similarity to the video game Dune which it came free with --
      defines the Kwisatz Haderach as "the shortening of the way". I got the
      impression that Paul was someone who could perform space folding without the
      use of Spice, but you're right there is a typically Messianic vagueness
      surrounding him which isn't the result of mysticism so much as bad writing.

      It's been too long since I read the book for me to comment in much depth
      about it, but the film certainly ascribes Paul some god-like powers over
      Arrakis -- control of the worms, killing with a word, some kind of
      prescience or gift of prophecy, telepathy or at least the ability to block
      telepathy/ESP and finally, the ability to make it rain. What that has to do
      with giving and taking is pure speculation.

      -- David
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