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Discussion of Dune

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wallydanger
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Postby wallydanger » Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:20 pm

I was a big fan of the books, and of Herbert's other work, So when I heard about Lynch directing Dune, and about the money being spent and other aspects of the production, I had high hopes. But I was terribly disappointed.

It's been many years since I read the book now, or have seen the film, it's a little hard to critique at this late date, but here's what I remember.

I felt the film failed miserably at capturing the mystical, metaphysical aspect of the book that made it so appealing to me. Missing was the essence of the spice "experience" and Paul's self-conciousness. What they tried to convey of that was poorly written and directed. This was my major complaint.

I remember hearing later that Lynch hadn't read the book, and this was why he missed the real point of it all. I believe he said it was his biggest mistake, not taking the time to read it first.

Then, some of the special effects were pretty bad, like the matte shots (riding the worms! lol). I did see it again well after it's release and disliked it even more, but that was at least 12 years ago. Time to make myself sit through it one more time, I guess. It's been so long now since reading the book that I would be able to experience it on it's own terms.

Please, please don't hate me too much.
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Annie
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Postby Annie » Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:58 pm

I couldn't disagree more, which has made a lot of DL fans laugh at me! I LOVE DUNE!!! It introduced me both to Frank Herbert and David Lynch and I've been a fan of both ever since.

Obviously, not everybody feels that way. Since you're more into the books, when it comes to DUNE, I suggest you go over to www.dunenovels.com and go to the discussion board. (Not that I'm trying to get rid of you!) But you'll get a lot of support for loving DUNE. It's a huge board, too.

Just make sure you come on back here! :wink:
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Postby jmichael » Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:55 pm

The film is not without it's flaws, to be sure, and Lynch is probably the first person to say so.

But he most assuredly read the book. I suggest you pick up a copy of the book "Lynch on Lynch" to hear what he has to say about the books and making the movie. In fact, he liked the second book even more than the first and was excited about the prospect of making that into a film as well. I believe he even began work on the screenplay for it.
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Postby Annie » Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:27 pm

Are you sure he read the book? Not that I don't love it or anything. I went over to the DUNE board searching for news on the possible new movie (and there isn't news; they have 2 years to decide.) Somebody was making nasty remarks about our DUNE and said that obviously the Director didn't read the book. I think those guys have nothing better to do than dwell on a dead man's dream.

Have you guys read any of the books by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson? The Legends was good, but after that it went downhill. And they just finished up with the last one from Frank's notes, Sandworms of Dune, and are working on another one, Paul of Dune--no idea where that fits in. These last ones are really tiresome. I'm just glad I went to the library for Hunters. It was terrible.
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silenttwn
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Postby silenttwn » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:36 am

I would think he would have to have read the book. He DID write the screenplay for the movie.
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Postby Annie » Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:05 pm

Guess you're right; I've seen that screenplay on line! You try going to the DUNE forum and see if you don't come out confused! Those people are true diehards and argue amongst themselves about the superiority of Frank Herbert's novels vs. the books written from his notes by his Brian and Kevin. :roll:
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jmichael
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Postby jmichael » Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:34 pm

Annie wrote:Are you sure he read the book?



Yes. Just to make sure I wasn't making things up in my head, I checked my copy of Lynch on Lynch. Here's some of his comments on the book and why the movie doesn't follow it 100%

David Lynch wrote:Dino DeLaurentis called and said "I want you to read this book, Dune," and you know, I said, "June?" He said, "No. Dune." And a friend of mine said, "Man! That's a great science fiction book," and I said, "I know, that's what I heard." So I started reading it.


and later:
I had a lot of talks with the author, Frank Herbert, concentrating on every line of the book. There are so many bits that seem to contradict themselves as you get into it.


and later:
The ideas all came from Frank's novel, but I interpreted them.
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Postby John Neff » Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:51 am

I lived in Maui at the time that Dune was made, and Frank Herbert had a home there. I was doing a morning radio show at the time, and knew that a movie was being made of Dune (some friends of mine were doing the music), so I called him up (he was LISTED). I introduced myself and told him I would like to interview him about the book and the movie currently in production. He agreed, but said I would have to come out to his place (near Hana-other side of the island) to do it. So, on a Saturday morning I drove the rough backside of Maui and came to Frank's place. He welcomed me in, I set up the recorder and the mic and we had at it.

He had been to the set at Churubusco in Mexico City and loved the look of the film. The most memorable quote of the interview was he said, "I never imagined my story set in H.G. Wells' world!" He thought the steam and iron machinery look Dave had going was fantastic. Now at the time I did not know a thing about Lynch. After all, "Eraserhead" did not play in Maui. I knew about The Elephant Man, but confused it with the stage play. EM might have played Maui but I did not see it. So I knew nothing about Lynch and Frank said he thought this 'new young Director' was doing a great job. He said it was not his vision, but after all a movie is an interpretation of a book, not THE book.

Holding to that, I think Dave did a good job of it. I asked him once if he would ever revisit Dune, but he said absolutely not.
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moviemaker
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Postby moviemaker » Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:58 am

Thank you for that great story John!
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Postby biotron » Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:06 am

what a lovely inside story John, thanks... and the real revelation - to learn that you are friends with TOTO! :wink:

i haven't seen Dune for ages, but despite its flaws and David's own lack of control over the film, i still feel it has some really strong moments. i was planning to rewatch it soon, and now this thread has given me the kick i needed...
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Postby Annie » Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:00 pm

Thanks John--you know I love your Dune stories and the time you spent with Frank Herbert. I'm sure we'd all love to hear more!
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Postby John Neff » Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:05 pm

Well, at the time I was living on a working ranch in Maui, having split up with #3. I actually started my first studio there, though I was also producing some stuff at George Benson's "Lahaina Sound" studio. I would do things like the soundtrack for the schlocky hotel 'Hawaiian' shows, which were actually white man ripoffs of Polynesian ideas. BUT... I digress....

I met a pair of percussionists, Joe Porcaro and Emil Richards, who owned a time share in West Maui. Joe of course was the father of most of Toto, and Emil was, well, Emil... a world renowned percussionist.

I used them as the rhythm section on a hotel show and got friendly with Joe. His sons were Toto, and Mike, the Bass player, used to come up to the ranch to ride horses and get away from the touristy things. In '83 or '84 he brought cassettes of the stuff they were doing for "Dune". I gotta tell you, most of what they wrote and recorded was not used in the film. There were geat cues never used. Somewhere I have a casette of them. Anyway, Mike and I got to know each other well, and stayed in touch. When "Dune" came out, I saw it and was amazed at so many things, but really did wonder where all the music I heard was. They didn't use most of it.

When I met Walter Becker from Steely Dan, and we eventually built a studio together, we had great talks about Toto. Jeff porcaro had been Steely Dan's drummer, around '74-'75-ish. Sorry, I don't have the dates and I am sure one of you will find all the applicable information. But here's the thing.

Jeff was the drummer in the studio band for the "Sonny and Cher" show. He was making $1,500 a week (remember, this is like '74-ish). Donald and Walter offered him $400. a week to be Steely Dan's drummer. He immediately quit the show and joined up with Walter and Donald. Sadly, he died while gardening in his back yard at the ripe old age of 38.

OK, enough reminiscing. Time for this old horse to get back to the stable.
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Postby silenttwn » Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:19 pm

John Neff wrote:I used them as the rhythm section on a hotel show and got friendly with Joe. His sons were Toto, and Mike, the Bass player, used to come up to the ranch to ride horses and get away from the touristy things. In '83 or '84 he brought cassettes of the stuff they were doing for "Dune". I gotta tell you, most of what they wrote and recorded was not used in the film. There were geat cues never used. Somewhere I have a casette of them. Anyway, Mike and I got to know each other well, and stayed in touch. When "Dune" came out, I saw it and was amazed at so many things, but really did wonder where all the music I heard was. They didn't use most of it.


That really sucks. One of the best parts about Dune is the music, for me at least. I especially love the mysterious strings accompanying the Atreides and the somber messiah motif. I remember reading the liner notes to the expanded score (which I regretfully have never purchased, and now it goes for like $200 on Amazon Marketplace) and I got the impression that it was a rough rollercoaster ride of an experience for them. I had always hoped they would do like a DUNE symphonic concert or something, where they would expand on the themes because on the soundtrack album they play for too short. Sometimes I wish I lived in an alternate world where Dune hadn't flopped. :)
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Annie
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Postby Annie » Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:14 pm

silenttwn wrote: Sometimes I wish I lived in an alternate world where Dune hadn't flopped. :)



It it by will alone I set my mind in motion--in my private world DUNE didn't flop--it was just the beginning of a wonderful ride. I'm so sorry David considers it his big flop. Have I mentioned lately that if it weren't for DUNE, I might have never discovered David Lynch???
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Postby twin-b » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:50 pm

Happy (for now)

Dune is the only Lynch film I've never seen. As I am in the midst of one of my strongest Lynch-phases ever, I have felt recently (for the first time) that I have to see it. Anyway, I was able to buy a copy online for $4 today.

Now, whether I'll be happy after watching the movie may be another story.

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