Dune: Book Vs film Vs TV

Discussion in 'Frank Herbert' started by Rodders, May 31, 2009.

  1.  
    Rodders

    Rodders |-O-| (-O-) |-O-|

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    I was reading the Blade runner part of the PKD section and saw this comment: "Hmmm thats funny J-sun because I like the movie of Dune and hope to get it on DVD,but i found the book almost unreadable and boring!"

    I really enjoyed the book, the movie and the TV series of Dune and Children of Dune. Just wondered how others compared the three formats.
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    clovis-man

    clovis-man Prehistoric Irish Cynic

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    There are many critics of Dune, the book. Too involved, too much 60s drug-culture influence, too much mysticism, etc. Pick your gripe. I believe it to be a seminal work, never to be duplicated or surpassed. So there.:rolleyes:

    The David Lynch movie was a waste of time and money. too much David Lynch (can you say Eraserhead?) and not enough Frank Herbert.

    The Sci-Fi Channel mini-series at least had the virtue of following the story for the most part. But like many "literal" interpretations, it lacked spirit, IMHO.

    One example to illustrate my point: Early in the book, Stilgar breaks into a meeting of Atreides operatives. At one point he spits on the floor. The assembled nobles and soldiers are taken aback until it is explained to them that his "offering of water" is a high compliment, not an offense. Portraying that moment on film just looks silly. In Herbert's prose, it represents real drama. Impossible to recreate on celluloid.

    My 2 cents.
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    Rodders

    Rodders |-O-| (-O-) |-O-|

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    You're 2 cents are more than welcome Clovis-Man.

    I'm afraid it was the David Lynch Film that got me in to Dune in the first place and i thought that it was very well done considering the time frame. This film to me represents a classic. I thought it had great visuals for the time and considering the difficulty of it's source was a truly under appreciated movie. I Loved it.
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    Werthead

    Werthead Lemming of Discord

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    In terms of adaption the film has the definitive cast and production design. A bit weird, but it caught the atmosphere of the book quite well to my mind.

    OTOH, the TV series had a longer running time and was able to be more faithful to the book and fit more moments from the book in. But it looked pretty ridiculous on occasion (such as the complete absence of any scenes filmed in the desert and the use of painted backdrops instead).

    And with our current remake-crazy culture, apparently there's yet another movie version of Dune in the works.
  5.  
    clovis-man

    clovis-man Prehistoric Irish Cynic

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    We'll probably just have to agree to disagree on this. I could produce a long list of complaints, but it would serve no purpose. Let's just say, that, for me it went from the sublime to the ridiculous, e.g., Sting as Feyd Rautha was superb, very much in character. OTOH, Kenneth McMillan as Baron Harkonnen was more like Elmer Fudd with a complexion problem, pathetic, not menacing. I always thought someone like John Rhys-Davies or William Conrad (big guy, big voice) would have been better.

    Suffice to say that there are many who are huge fans of David Lynch (including my older son) and think everything from Twin Peaks to Blue Velvet was shear genius. I know better than to protest too much.;)

    Actually, the idea of a "new" Dune doesn't send me screaming for the exit. Maybe it's time for another re-do, although Peter Berg isn't quite a household name as far as directors go.
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    I suppose I'm closer to C.-M. here than others, but not entirely with him. There are a great number of things I quite like about the Lynch film, but I feel that the further along it went, the further it not only deviated from the novel, but became chaotic and nonsensical. I'd also agree about the casting overall.

    On the other hand, I think the scene with Stilgar could be done on film quite well, and convey the reactions and reactions to the reactions... if done properly. But you'd have to have a much better director for such nuance and, despite some marvelous things about these productions, they simply don't capture the feel of the thing at all; too flat, I'm afraid -- too removed.

    Personally, I'm against a remake of Dune, at least for the time being. There are so many really good, quite cinematic sff books out there which could be adapted into some intelligent genre films, that I'd rather this one had a rest for a while. I also don't want to see another take on The Lathe of Heaven, though I thought the original production was quite good in many ways (the remake, frankly, stank on ice). Heck, there are various of Herbert's own novels and stories which could make some good films... I'd like to see a well-done take on Hellstrom's Hive, for instance; that could make a suspense-horror film which is both intelligent, cautionary, timely, and gripping (and what a wonderful DVD package that would make: Hellstrom's Hive packaged with The Hellstrom Chronicle... purportedly a documentary made by the novel's titular character and his film company....)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hellstrom_Chronicle
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    Rodders

    Rodders |-O-| (-O-) |-O-|

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    I wonder why the Sci-Fi channel stopped making these after Children of Dune?
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    clovis-man

    clovis-man Prehistoric Irish Cynic

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    I'd love to see a film of The Dragon in the Sea.
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    iansales

    iansales New Member

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    As an adaptation of the book, Lynch's film is a bit of a failure - he mangled parts of the plot, the rain at the end was silly, and the casting was bonkers for some parts (Sting as Feyd-Rautha?). But. The production design beautifully captured the feel of Herbert's novel - so much so that it's hard to read the book now without imagining it looking like Lynch's film. And yet, it could have been so good. If you watch the "television" version, you can get a better idea of what Lynch was trying to achieve, and if he had been allowed to do that, the result would have been a much more interesting film.

    The Sci-Fi (sorry, SyFy) Channel adaption, OTOH, was just dull. Their Children of Dune was a great deal of better.

    Having said all that, it's a shame Jodorowsky never got to make his film of Dune. That would have been something to see...
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    Rothgar

    Rothgar New Member

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    Rand

    Rand New Member

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    The book is an all time classic, the movie strayed too far from the story, and the television series was sort of between the two, capturing enough of the plot essence to make it good, but lacking needed characteristics to make it a top shelf SF offering. I agree with iansales that Children was quite a bit better.
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    biodroid

    biodroid Expensive Gadget User

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    I liked the 80's version, then I watched the mini-series which was also good, I really enjoyed the book, I read it years after the movies. The mini-series was closer to the book than the first 1 but they were both good in their own right.
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    quick_ben

    quick_ben New Member

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    For me, Dune is one of the greatest literary works of the 20th century, probably should be among the all-time classics. Definitely one of the best science fiction novels, if not the best.

    I liked Feyd Rautha in the movie. That's about it.

    The TV series did try it's darn best. But, alas, only a true visionary director could probably match the vision of Frank Herbert.... calling Peter Jackson? Chris Nolan?
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    Gamblor

    Gamblor New Member

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    So been hearing more recently about the new adaptation...anyone have any news? Would love to read something concrete.

    In my opinion the book was a master piece but the only reason i discovered it was firstly through the film, which i also loved. The tV not so much but still enjoyed it. Ultimately the book will be the story i remember - a superb novel.
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    Krystal

    Krystal New Member

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    Definitely the books will always be best since its the original awesome concept and no film could ever get all of that. But I have enjoy the tv films that Scifi did. But I suppose only the book will have all that description and story that makes it so great.
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    C Of K

    C Of K Sunset colored eyes

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    If nothing else the Lynch film was a great representation of its time. It seems silly now, but I'd like to note that there are still people out there who attempt to put together a better more coherent film.

    Dune The Third Stage Edition was a joy to watch.

    The novels were great. I had to keep a dictionary next to my bed the whole time. I can say this for Herbert. He doesn't write like anyone else I've ever read, and his ideas are great at times.

    The miniseries was a bit of fun, mostly because Barbora Kodetova was impressive to behold.
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    Jane Holland

    Jane Holland New Member

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    Dune is indeed a masterpiece. A modern classic. I've used the litany against fear more times than I care to remember, having a bit of a dangerous life. ;)

    By contrast, the film was appalling. I can't even bear to watch it these days on the odd occasion that it's on TV. Sorry to be blunt, but it was an abortion of an adaptation. I read the book as a teenager though, so perhaps it was so deeply embedded in my psyche by the time I saw the film, every atom of my being recoiled from someone else's vision of it.
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    Rosemary

    Rosemary The Wicked Sword Maiden

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    I've always been very disappointed with the film versions of a great book, that I don't watch them anymore.

    They miss so much important information from the story and the actors are never anything like I had already imagined.
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    steve12553

    steve12553 The Enigma of Steel

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    I read the original trilogy as a young adult and suffered with the feeling that I was being given a great revelation that would change my life. I would assume now that was the mark of great writing. I read two or three of the sequels before I began to feel that it was too far off track. I saw the David Lynch movie in the theater when it first came out and really enjoyed it although it waas very obvious that 2 and 1/2 hours was not enough time to tell near enough of the story to be true to the book or even coherent to anyone who had not read the book. The Sci-Fi Channel mini series solved the cherence problem but lost much of the spectical that the Lynch movie provided and the book deserved. On the whole I have read the trilogy more than once and seen both the movie and both mini series more than once. If there is another movie being made I will reread the books in anticipation of the movie. There is never enough Dune and the spice is addictive.
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    Boneman

    Boneman Active Member

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    Couldn't agree more... But now we should expect 3D films a la Cameron... If Lord of the Rings was 12 hours, then I'm sure the originl Dune could be, too. And when it's successful, all those sequels...!

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