Thursday, November 18, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks: Book Adaptations


For the 46th week of 2021 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We go into the subject of book adaptations where novels become films as it’s often difficult to match the spirit of a book where some are too faithful or others are quite different. Here are my three picks as it all relates to Frank Herbert’s novel Dune:

1. Dune
David Lynch’s 1984 film version came in following nearly 20 years since the book’s release for the film to be adapted through many attempts as Lynch and producer Dino de Laurentiis were the first ones to try. While it does have some interesting art direction and its attempt to condense a vast story into a 137-minute film. It is an adaptation that felt like it didn’t dwell too much into the source material and left too many things out while some of the presentation in the characters such as the Harkkonens come off as cartoonish. It is Lynch’s worst film and he has opened up about the fact that he fucked it up and the extended cuts of the film made without his input only added to his disdain for the film.

2. Jodorowsky's Dune
Frank Pavich’s documentary about cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s attempt to adapt the film in the mid-1970s definitely belongs in that list of greatest films that never got made along with Tim Burton’s Superman Lives in the late 1990s and Fred Zimmerman’s Man's Fate in the early 1970s. The film showcases a lot of the insane ideas that Jodorowsky wanted to do for his own adaptation features the design work of Moebius, H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, and Dan O’Bannon with Magma and Pink Floyd to provide the music. The film also revealed why it fell apart but how a lot of the work that Jodorowsky and his collaborators created would lay the ground work for many future films to come in the sci-fi genre.

3. Dune-Part One
37 years since David Lynch’s botched version as well as a divisive miniseries in the 2000s and other attempts by other filmmakers that never got off the ground, Denis Villeneuve finally creates a film that isn’t just worthy of Herbert’s novel but also makes the wise decision to only tell half of the story so far. Featuring a diverse cast that include some inspired changes in the characters as well as delving into many themes in the novel. The film is a visual marvel but also does a lot in not just world building and developing the characters but also set up the stakes as it’s just the first half of a bigger story as a sequel is definitely coming in 2023.

© thevoid99 2021


Brittani Burnham said...

I LOVE the new Dune! Great use of gif too.

Birgit said...

I never read or watched any Dune films but I am shocked that you are the only one to talk about it. I remember when Dune came out many moons ago and the flop it became was and is legendary. The documentary sounds good but, for some reason, the new version just doesn’t interest me. I have no idea why but it doesn’t. I heard nothing but great things about it. I will wait until the second film is done before I attempt to watch it.

Katy said...

I really have to get on the Dune train. I just haven't had the time but maybe in the next year I'll be able to watch both versions or read the book to see what all the hype is about. Nice picks!

Ruth said...

DUUUUNNNEE!!! I'm glad you love Villeneuve's DUNE... my review was nearly 2000-words long but I enjoyed writing it so much as there are sooo much details to appreciate.