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Satsuki Murashige

New ‘Dune’ trailer is out

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Thoughts? 

The writing and casting look great. Love the costumes. Sets look dope. Not sure about the monochromatic look to everything, though I suppose that might change later. 

I guess they wanted to go completely the opposite direction of David Lynch and the Storaro-lensed TV versions, which makes sense. Personally, I miss the rich saturated colors though. Caladan should be vibrant blue and green, Arrakis red, no? Maybe they will do some kind of design thing where the color saturation comes back in after they taste the Spice.

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Rather like its director, there are things I like about the Lynch Dune, without liking the film very much. There are things I like about it very, very much. The production design is, with significant caveats, incredibly nice, creating a believable far-future without being so weird it's unfathomable (which would probably be more accurate, but less accessible). The stillsuits are great. It looks wonderful. The writing is dubious, although Dune really shouldn't be conventional. I don't think we'd have got anything nearly so interesting-looking without sending that director (Lynch) to that place (Mexico) in that time (the mid-80s.) That's a huge win for that film. The soundtrack, particularly the Eno Prophecy theme, is magical.

The trailer we've seen for the new one is, in my view, an odd choice because it shows the interaction between Gaius Helen Mohiam and Paul Atreides staged in an extremely similar way to the Lynch. Perhaps there's only so many ways to stage that, but it does invite very direct comparison. Also, I think the lead performance comes off as a little dry, the production design, at least down to the architecture, is less baroque than the Lynch. It looks more generically sci-fi, which Dune shouldn't. 

I suspect it will be competent, and I'll see it, but what I'm seeing suggests that it will be too similar to the Lynch version, and too conventional. And the stillsuits look crap. Those are motorbike gloves. In fact, too much of the published production design looks too contemporary. It's supposed to be something like eight thousand years in the future. Properly, almost no part of any object should be recognisable to us. We certainly shouldn't be able to notice buckles and webbing you can buy on eBay. That was bad enough on Star Wars. Lynch famously rejected duck hunting boots for the stillsuits in his production; this production should have tried harder.

But what do I know; I wondered where the hell they put $220m for Tenet.

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25 minutes ago, Phil Rhodes said:

The trailer we've seen for the new one is, in my view, an odd choice because it shows the interaction between Gaius Helen Mohiam and Paul Atreides staged in an extremely similar way to the Lynch. Perhaps there's only so many ways to stage that, but it does invite very direct comparison.

The Storaro SciFi Channel version is similar too, despite the radically different set design compared to Lynch (I prefer the Lynch version of Caladan with the use of heavy wood elements but I guess that meant the SciFi Channel version wanted a "2001" whiteness for Caladan to be different.) It's a well-written and memorable scene in the book so I guess every adaption doesn't feel the need to mess with it too much.

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Did David Lynch borrow a lot of production design elements from Jodorowsky? It’s been a long time since I’ve see it, but I recall a lot of Geiger-esque weirdness. Especially those Navigators, eww.

You’re right that the production design in this new film appears to be lot more conventional. I’m guessing they’ve toned down the visuals in order to emphasize the characters. I forget who it was who said (paraphrasing), sometimes futuristic gloves just need to be recognizably gloves. (shrug) I’m sure I’ll be similarly up in arms next year when ‘The Wheel of Time’ series gets little visual details wrong. 

I think Timothee Chalamet is going to be great, I was surprised by his work in ‘The King.’ Minimalist, but with emotions bubbling just under the surface. 

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QT 1080p quality: http://www.hd-trailers.net/movie/dune/

Shot on the Alexa LF with Ultra Vista lenses (which is a combo Fraser used on The Mandalorian already, and on The Batman (along with other lenses there) ). The film will have sequences opening up to 1.43 in IMAX, but no idea what spherical lenses were used for those.

Excited about this. I have no doubt we'll be seeing some complaints about the look of it. It's gorgeously shot and really feels like Greig Fraser but having no exposure to the source material, I do wonder if there'll be some variety to the environments. Although if it's on a sandy planet, things are bound to look a certain way. 

Edited by Manu Delpech

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Checked it out in Pro Res quality and I do wish there was more texture to it. The Batman (Greig Fraser too) has a ton of it, this doesn't nearly as much. 

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Okaaaaayyyyy.... soooooo.... Well I suppose I agree with all of what Phil said. I think I will like the film, despite the fact that I am not impressed by the trailer.

The novel is a must-read, regardless of whether you like sci-fi or not. It's properly epic and should be a high school text. It wouldn't be a great story were it not for the details, and novels are superior for conveying details. Also, by reading the book, you will see where George Lucas got some of his inspiration.

It's beautifully lit, and I say that despite not liking the style. The fashion these days, in commercials or in features, is to underexpose to the point where it still looks 'not underexposed'. It's not easy to do, BTW. But I can't say I love it. I mean, I believe in freedom for the DP, but I want to be able to see what I'm looking at. (Quick confession: for one job a few years ago I delivered slightly underexposed photographs to the client, which was my fault, but he really really liked them. I didn't like my mistake, and I still don't.)

A few things bothered me besides the photography. Firstly, I don't think that any movie or trailer should open with whispered or low volume dialogue.

Secondly, I think we can dispense with the visuals of armies a-la Triumph of the Will. That film is brilliantly shot but we've seen enough of that particular image.

Thirdly, the music is not quite appropriate. I didn't like the music in Lynch's version, either. But to be fair we have not heard the rest of the soundtrack. 

Fourthly, changing 'Jihad' to 'Crusade' is kind of disingenuous. In the novel, it is explained that long ago there was the Butlerian Jihad, which was waged against computers, and so from then on computers were never used again. I see no reason why the word 'Jihad' is such a problem in the context of the story.

I would agree that Lynch's version had brilliant moments. The sandworms were amazing, for one. The Guild Navigators were perfectly designed, too. The opening monologue was memorable, too. The opening music sounds like it was composed in the 1960s and brought out of storage just for this film. Still, it's often an awkward movie and has some moments of cringe.

Finally, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, digital cameras did not do this project any favours. But at least it was shot in 4K, unlike BR2049, which was shot on the older Alexa, as wonderfully lit as that film was. I personally believe that 15-perf 65mm is stupid, but so too is shooting sub-4K digital for big budget projects.

Finally, a reminder to read the novel. You're welcome. 😉 

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I don't care very much about resolution nor particularly film, but I would wholeheartedly agree that several recent movies have, in my view, suffered from excessive cleanliness and lack of texture. I don't object to it in general - Oblivion was designed around a pristine look, witness the set design, and looked fantastic - but I thought Blade Runner 2049 lacked grit, and I'd tend to agree about the Dune trailer. I don't think it's an issue of digital origination; you can grime it up if you want to. I also think a lot of what's seen as film grittiness is actually production design, lighting and maybe a bit of lenses but I don't want to encourage this modern lens obsession. The Lynch Dune has very busy production design and a lot of textured, natural materials. I wonder how much of it is because it was done in Mexico and inevitably it picked up a bit of the local aesthetic, if there is one, but it ought to be possible for a suitably qualified individual to - well - direct that.

Dune should not look like a slick sci fi, in my view, and the trailer risks doing so.

 

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I also agree that some movies seem too clean. The Stillsuits in Lynch's Dune were so dusty, I believed it. Aside from modern trends, I am excited!

Here's a comparison of all three at the same time! Such fun to watch.

 

 

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