Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby Freakzilla » 15 Aug 2014 17:35

Of course directors should be creative, but when they're adapting a literary classic to film they should have a great deal of respect.
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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 22 Aug 2014 02:29

Freakzilla wrote:My problem is, I don't give a shit about the director's creativity. When I see a movie made from a book, I want to see something very similar to what I read. Of course there's room for interpretation but Jodorowsky would have gone way beyond and adaptation to "loosely based on".


Freakzilla wrote:Of course directors should be creative, but when they're adapting a literary classic to film they should have a great deal of respect.


Freak, you have inspired me to do a cartoon satire of the documentary. I call it Freakzilla's Dune, or: How Not to Fuck Up a Film Adaptation of Frank Herbert's Masterpiece. It'll be straight to the point, uses only the book for reference, and will get the Weirding Way right.
'...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 22 Aug 2014 03:01

georgiedenbro wrote:Of course as others mention the spirit of the story was going to be more Jodorowsky's than Herbert's, far further than Lynch went. In his own way I think that Lynch tried to tell the story of Dune faithfully in tone and in spirit, even if some plot details (weirding modules, heart plugs, etc) were altered to make the setting weirder than it had to be. Lynch's ending, which is my only real gripe with it, can *almost* be attributed to the audience being shifted to the Fremen point of view at the end, rather than Paul's, as they viewed him at that point more than ever as a messiah (Paul knew Shaddam was coming before announced, he claimed he could kill Mohiam with a word, he killed Feyd, etc). The rainfall itself isn't dissimilar to a mass hallucination of Paul's godhood, almost daring the audience to buy in to the messiah bullshit. Since we don't get Paul's inner monologues about wanting to stop the jihad the rain couldn't even work on that level, but anyhow I digress. Jodorowsky appeared to not be concerned at all with Frank's intent in any sense other than basically having Frank's setting.


To be fair for Lynch and Jodorowsky, I always wondered how Paul brought additional quantities of water to Arrakis for Dune Messiah. I thought that Paul using his highly developed powers was just a quicker way of bringing more hydration to the planet (even though the worms would get killed in the process). Even if both film versions end with Paul being the almighty savior of the universe who would give peace a chance in the end, I don't think it would prevent subsequent film sequels from adapting the negative aftermath covered in Dune Messiah or Children of Dune. Many a good prophet's words throughout history have been forgotten or corrupted by their followers. I think Jodorowsky could have found a way to create a hallucinatory, super-symbolic crazy commentary about how Paul's original intent being messed up by following generations. Although Jodorowsky's Paul is implied to have been killed after Lady Fenring slits his throat (though is still alive when his essence is passed on to his family, the Fremen, and the people of the universe), he possibly impregnated Chani before he died (she is in the movie, according to one storyboard slide for the ending). The continuing adventures of Leto II and Ghanima could have a place in Jodorowsky's vision. He could adapt Alia's mental corruption into a symbol of a Christian saint becoming increasingly negative due to the decadence of Mua'dib's theocracy. God Emperor of Dune already has the elements for a Lynch/Jodorowsky interpretation.

georgiedenbro wrote:So in this sense I do like a director to be creative - to find creative ways to tell the story maybe even better than the book did. This might be hard to do, especially with a masterpiece, but just as a silly example I thought the Harry Potter movies were in most ways far superior to the books, without negating the books or their content in any way. I also think the LotR movies are better than the books, and there are other examples too of a director 'helping' the material.


I highly disagree with the assessment that Jacksons LotR films are better than the books, or in any way improved the material. Most people who think the films are better usually don't understand the books, or saw the movies before reading the books (I'm not accusing you of being one of them, but that's how it is with the current generation of Tolkien fans). Jackson's film versions mess with the logic of Tolkien's original narrative, adds dialogue and character behaviors which overcomplicates the story, and adds overlong scenes which distract from the narrative rather then helping it flow. He also renders the characters to be very stupid. That's not to say that I don't value what Jackson has done: I appreciate very much the effort and work put into those movies. It's just that in Jackson's efforts to make the story make sense for him, the result makes Tolkien's world frenetically overstimulating, illogical, very badly paced. Jackson's better at pacing with his previous films, like Meet the Feebles or The Frighteners. I would recommend reading the books again. Better yet, get the BBC 1980s radio drama, which is BY FAR the best adaptation of LotR in my view. It's faithful to Tolkien's original words, but it's also to the point, and very well voice acted.

Sorry for my ranting like that. I grew up appreciating Tolkien's books long before the Jackson films arrived.

In speaking of crazy film adaptations that almost were, I discovered that LotR was nearly adapted into a "What the Hell Am I Watching Here?!" film back in the 50s. Got this from an article written by an awesomely hardcore Tolkien fan.

Tolkien himself had to deal with this issue the first time a Hollywood producer tried to develop a Lord of the Rings film, in 1958. If you want to read how Tolkien excoriated the screenwriter over changes to the story, read letter 210 from Humphrey Carpenter’s The Letters of JRR Tolkien. I’ll wait.

Back? That was fast. You can see that Tolkien pretty much hated any changes to his story, even minor ones (although he was willing to cut the Battle of the Hornburg entirely, rather than lose the Ents). I suspect Tolkien would have hated the Peter Jackson trilogy, despite the fact that it makes very few changes that approach the stupidity of the 1958 treatment that Tolkien despised so much. (It describes Orcs with feathers and beaks. Really? Really??? Then again, Jackson turned Wargs into giant zombie hedgehogs.)


The full article can be read here, which argues in one way how fans can get the wrong impression based only on the movies instead of the books.

http://periannath.com/feature/why-doesnt-frodo-just-ride-an-eagle-to-mount-doom/

Still, I wouldn't mind wanting to see a LotR film that tried to be a very whacky Thief of Baghdad meets the Wizard of Oz kind of film, if only just to see how wonderfully it would suck.
'...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby Serkanner » 22 Aug 2014 07:25

Jodorowsky's Acolyte wrote: I always wondered how Paul brought additional quantities of water to Arrakis for Dune Messiah.


If you refer to the books. The water was already there (on Arrakis). It was encapsulated by the sandtrout.
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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 22 Aug 2014 14:53

Serkanner wrote:
Jodorowsky's Acolyte wrote: I always wondered how Paul brought additional quantities of water to Arrakis for Dune Messiah.


If you refer to the books. The water was already there (on Arrakis). It was encapsulated by the sandtrout.


You are a very fine Mentat, my lord Serkanner. Thank you. :)
'...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby Naïve mind » 23 Aug 2014 02:06

georgiedenbro wrote:In his own way I think that Lynch tried to tell the story of Dune faithfully in tone and in spirit, even if some plot details (weirding modules, heart plugs, etc) were altered to make the setting weirder than it had to be.


I doubt the weirding modules were intended to be anything other than a children's toy, if the film took off just like Star Wars had. I can almost imagine some exec: "You know, kids really like these 'light swords', so we should have something like that. How about a 'Sound Gun'? That sounds nice, right?"

Of course, somebody did make a Lynch Dune Colouring Book for Kids!

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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby georgiedenbro » 23 Aug 2014 10:10

Naïve mind wrote:I doubt the weirding modules were intended to be anything other than a children's toy, if the film took off just like Star Wars had. I can almost imagine some exec: "You know, kids really like these 'light swords', so we should have something like that. How about a 'Sound Gun'? That sounds nice, right?"

Of course, somebody did make a Lynch Dune Colouring Book for Kids!


I can see Lynch's qualms about showing the Weirding Way as it is in the book. How do you show a thing that we have no idea how to perform? It's one thing to say in written form "Jessica used the BG techniques to overcome Stilgar" but in film you have to show exactly what she's doing, which sort of requires BG knowledge, doesn't it? Also there was another problem, which is that the film had no time to delve into the mystery of Salusa Secundus and the nature of why the Sardaukar were so strong. Without the relationships of harsh planets to making a people strong, and in addition the notion of the local religion making them fanatical on top of it, we couldn't really get at the difference between the Emperor's army and other armies. Therefore it would have been strange to randomly suggest that Leto was training his men well enough to be nearly as good as Sardaukar, without us knowing what that really meant. On top of that, we readers only know that based on Thufir's comments. And those skills the Atreides were taught aren't even the same skills that Jessica and Paul taught the Fremen, which are BG fighting techniques.

It's all a mess in terms of trying to squeeze those tangentially related threads into an already overlong film. What Lynch did was create one element that would make an army strong, decided to make it a weapon, and decided to have it be both the Atreides secret weapon as well as the one given to the Fremen by Paul and Jessica, making the whole thing tidy and clear. That is was a sound-based weapon is sort of cool in a sci-fi retro-techno setting like Dune, even though it did obviously come out of Lynch's ass.

I can respect Lynch's need to do something to simplify the above quagmire and to avoid having to show people doing a) superhuman feats of speed (like in the miniseries), and b) 'advanced' fighting compared to normal fighting, which is really impossible to do as a filmmaker in a non-martial arts film.

Do I get a bit irked hearing the term "weiding module" when I watch Lynch's film? Yeah. But I don't think it takes away from the spirit and tone of the story, which I still believe he tried to delivery more or less faithfully. Unlike the miniseries, for example, parts of Lynch's Dune really do feel like Dune to me.
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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 23 Aug 2014 17:14

http://keelynet.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/global-weirding/

This explains why the Weirding Modules had "weirding" in them.

“A few lines from the script (cut out of the film and not reinstated for the “Alan Smithee” abortion) explains the relation of the weirding way to the weirding modules:

PAUL: The weirding way has long been a Bene Gesserit secret. With my mother’s help, my father isolated an element of the weirding way and externalized it. Because of the Harkonnen treachery, my father’s armies were never able to fully develop this new form. This is what I will teach you. You will be the fiercest and most feared fighters in the Universe.

What Leto isolated and externalized (with Jessica’s help) was the “Voice” element of the weirding way, the ability to manipulate sound to unnatural effect. Throughout the movie we see Paul trying to master the Voice, and finally succeeding (without the weirding module) when he kills Feyd. When connected with the Emperor’s earlier line (“The Atreides house is building a secret army, using a technique unknown to us… a technique involving sound”), you get the reason why the Emperor wanted to destroy House Atreides in the first place, plus a new perspective on Jessica’s role in the film (she started the whole chain of events going in the first place, first with giving birth to Paul and then giving Leto the key to his own destruction). Plus the weirding module was a simpler, less expensive (simple sound dubbing/amplifying and some small pyro = weeks/months of martial arts training and speeding-up SFX) and more amped-up “cinematic” way of giving the Fremen a crucial edge against the Harkonnens and the Sardukar.”


Although I have The Making of Dune in my possession, I still cant find the exact quote for the reason for opting for the sonic weapon instead of the martial art (though I did encounter the excerpt from the book somewhere). This bit from the comment sections under the article linked below is the closest approximation of what I remember

http://www.toplessrobot.com/2011/04/10_things_david_lynch_needlessly_added_to_dune.php

the weirding modules were approved by Herbert as a means of getting away from difficult to mass choreograph large sword/knife fighting scenes and integrate the new, expensive computer graphic shields. So they kept the latter to key scenes and came up with the weirding sonic weapons, which is pretty ingenious.


Not grammatically perfect, but close. They were worried about choreographing all the extras, and didn't want it to look like a bad martial arts movie. Freak and I debated about this on another thread as to whether the filmmakers' reason was legitimate or just a poor excuse. I would have opted for one of Bruce Lee's students to choreograph the Weirding Way, though it wouldn't be the same without the original Bruce Lee to really put the speed and ferocity into the fight scenes.

I do admit, however, that even though they're not in the book, I love that outrageous weapon the Weirding Module. I sometimes fantasized about running around the countryside in the Lynch stillsuit, holding my Weirding Module, aiming it at some random gathering, and shouting "chaaaaaaaaaa-CHWAAAAAAA!" ...That sounds like a good idea for a drawing.

I think of the Weirding Module as the equivalent of giving the Arabs during the Arab Revolt rifles and artillery to fight the Turks (even though they didn't get any artillery, for fear of them being independent). Both the Fremen and the Arabs are already great fighters: "The desert is an ocean in which no oar is dipped. And on this ocean, the Bedouin go where they please and strike where they please. This is the way the Bedouin has always fought. You are famed throughout the world for fighting in this way and this is the way you should fight now." Lynch's film does establish that the Fremen are superior fighters (albeit, very vaguely), and I think that the Weirding Module just allows them to do more technological damage. But yeah, the Fremen do less melee fighting once they get those Weirding Modules... but I still want one of those wonderful toys!
'...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby MuaB'Beep » 25 Aug 2014 12:08

Freakzilla wrote:My problem is, I don't give a shit about the director's creativity. When I see a movie made from a book, I want to see something very similar to what I read. Of course there's room for interpretation but Jodorowsky would have gone way beyond and adaptation to "loosely based on".


I remember watching the first LotR movie in cinema with a bunch of nerds from my high school. When they saw there was no Tom Bombadil they booed at the screen and left the cinema saying something "I was waiting my whole life for this movie and they fucked it up so badly!".

What I am aiming is that books by their own are perfect - no movie can topple the book and shouldn't. Those are completely different medium. When I first read Dune I was 12 and I completely missed the point that all characters where "humans" and not weird colored humanoid aliens with ribbed foreheads like in Star Trek. I thought that because they lived on so many different planets and banged in their circlejerk of space-royality they changed into something different than just usual white dudes. How dissapointed I was when seeing Lynch movie Duke Leto was some German white dude instead of a olive-skinned Hindu with huge greek nose, square jaw, cheekbones that could gauge somebody eyes out and huge thick black greaser pompadour hair (I know - I was retarded).

I am always conditioned when watching adaptations that they will probably suck and will be nowhere near as good as I imagined the book. I am looking forward to what the director interprets from the source material and how it will differ from what I thought. I embrace those retarded choices (weirding modules anyone? rain on Arrakis because?) just as a artistic license.

And Jodorovsky Dune if ever made - regardless of its relation to source material I believe would end as a piece of cinematic junk. It would be just Zardoz with budget and hammier acting. It would be the biggest failure in cinematic history - worse even than Pluto Nash. The movie would be like a unwatchable 6 hour long disco clip for stoners with budget that could bankrupt at least two major studios.

Would I watch it? Hell yes!

There is no way that any movie good or bad could damage Dune - I mean we had KJA for that and even after that Dune is still unscathed classic that people to this day read.

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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 25 Aug 2014 14:38

When they saw there was no Tom Bombadil they booed at the screen and left the cinema saying something "I was waiting my whole life for this movie and they fucked it up so badly!".


I am surprised how many LotR fans were more upset by Tom's absence than with many of the other changes which I found to be far more stupid. Tom wasn't even in the radio series which I love, yet reading his section was a very fun discovery for me once I finally read the books.

When I first read Dune I was 12 and I completely missed the point that all characters where "humans" and not weird colored humanoid aliens with ribbed foreheads like in Star Trek. I thought that because they lived on so many different planets and banged in their circlejerk of space-royality they changed into something different than just usual white dudes. How dissapointed I was when seeing Lynch movie Duke Leto was some German white dude instead of a olive-skinned Hindu with huge greek nose, square jaw, cheekbones that could gauge somebody eyes out and huge thick black greaser pompadour hair (I know - I was retarded).


Not completely. It was realistic of you to consider that the whole humanity would be starkly different in the deep future, and that they would be a fusion of many of Earth's cultures before they got out. After all, since the Orange Catholicism of the future is a fusion of so many different religions, why not the people as well? Most of the character descriptions seem to imply Cacausian descriptions, but it would just be very dull if the only humans in the great big Known Universe are bland pale beige people. A lot of sci-fi films and shows don't know how to portray a futuristic society as anything but.

I can see Leto as being Indian or Mediterranean.
'...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby MuaB'Beep » 26 Aug 2014 08:07

Jodorowsky's Acolyte wrote:I am surprised how many LotR fans were more upset by Tom's absence than with many of the other changes which I found to be far more stupid. Tom wasn't even in the radio series which I love, yet reading his section was a very fun discovery for me once I finally read the books.


Possibly because Tom Bombadil is the most powerful being in whole Middle-Earth - he is some kind of uncaring god allegory and maybe Tolkien himself. He didn't care about war for the ring - the one ring was nothing to him, didn't affect him and I think Elrond was afraid he could just lose it if given to him for safekeeping. Sauron and even Morgoth could kiss his ass. It didn't anything to the story - just maybe a signal than beyond the petty good vs evil things there is a powerful world of nature far beyond that what we can comprehend, which I think was always in the background of Tolkien stories.

Jodorowsky's Acolyte wrote:Not completely. It was realistic of you to consider that the whole humanity would be starkly different in the deep future, and that they would be a fusion of many of Earth's cultures before they got out. After all, since the Orange Catholicism of the future is a fusion of so many different religions, why not the people as well? Most of the character descriptions seem to imply Cacausian descriptions, but it would just be very dull if the only humans in the great big Known Universe are bland pale beige people. A lot of sci-fi films and shows don't know how to portray a futuristic society as anything but.

I can see Leto as being Indian or Mediterranean.


I thought that each house had distinct genetic markers that they in some sort of racist way cherished. We had oval faces with small noses and pouty lips for the Harkonnen, squared faces with long sharp noses of the Atreides - I only hypercharged those traits. Of course after so many generations it would be just silly to compare physically those nobles to any nation on current Earth - but I always had feeling that Frank Herbert thought about Atreides as Greeks/Spaniards while Harkonnes were Russian/Nordic mixture. The same came for their background planets - Caladan was a water world, warm and bright like Greek, Italian or Iberian Peninsula, Giedi Prime was marsh planet, cold and dark like Northern Russia. Cold war and stuff probably added to this.

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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby Naib » 05 Jun 2015 10:34

I finally got around to watching Jodorowsky's Dune on Netflix. What a trip. After watching this I am extremely happy it never got made. I think the reaction to the film may have permanently damaged Dune's reputation with the general public.

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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby georgiedenbro » 05 Jun 2015 13:06

Naib wrote:I finally got around to watching Jodorowsky's Dune on Netflix. What a trip. After watching this I am extremely happy it never got made. I think the reaction to the film may have permanently damaged Dune's reputation with the general public.


But come on, Mick Jagger and Orson Welles!
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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby Ampoliros » 05 Jun 2015 15:41

Would it have been 'Dune'. No.

Would it have been an epic film. Hell yes.
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Re: Jodorowsky's Dune Documentary Screening in San Francisco

Postby Naib » 06 Jun 2015 08:18

Actually I think Welles would been great, but Jagger... no. David Bowie would have been better I think. More androginous I think.

And to be fair it would have been a mind altering experience to be sure.


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