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On seeing part one of 'Dune' (movie review)

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

My comics illustrator friend R saw it twice, raved about it, said it was beautiful, said that had he seen it at the age he saw Star Wars Empire Strikes Back (very young), it would have had major similar effect, said it was long but paced perfectly etc. So maybe I was prepared to be skeptical, it has been years (decades..) since I saw the Lynch version, years more (decades...) since I read the book, but I had more recently seen the TV miniseries (part of it) and could remember the plot points, characters, worldbuilding, so it was not hard to follow even with my hearing deficit. And the movie is supremely visual. I might still prefer some of the design and images from Lynch's version, but the ornithopters were great, the desert, the city, the ships were great...

So what was not? The ideology. The idea that in 10 000+ years we will have decided the best way to organise our interstellar polis is noble houses under an emperor? This is of course consistent with the book. I never liked that aspect of the book. Nor the 'chosen' one. Nor the bad guys being so obviously physically repulsive, the good guys all trim and clean etc. As movie I felt this was only emphasised. As movie I was unfortunately reminded of the beautiful Nazi propaganda films of Leni Reifenstahl (Triumph of the Will, Olympiad) and I am certain this is not what R saw...

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