I wasn’t expecting my well… expectations, for lack of a better word, to change so drastically thanks to just some random browsing online in between work call-ins, power outages, and migraines. And today I overhauled my reading schedule to take advantage of my new plans.
Now, I’ve written a little before about the 1984 film Dune and the original novel that spawned it. When you’ve read the book, it’s safe to feel that that particular film is what I can best call a “stunning mess.” Too many things gone wrong according to the studio or creator stories, too much left out or added (or amended) to fit into the final product and try to bring some cohesion without beating the audience to death with exposition. I still love it, but can admit it’s got flaws and a half (kinda like Michael Mann’s The Keep from 1983: I love it for what it is and the awful circumstances that prevented it from being better).
Dune is damned complex, and though the mini-series that came out on the Sci-Fi channel (back before it was spelled SyFy) a couple decades ago filled in a lot of gaps, it just didn’t feel all that impressive. Makes me think about the difference between Kubrick’s The Shining vs. Stephen King’s mini-series The Shining: one was a complex, stunning work while not terribly faithful to the book, the other was more faithful but bland as hell.
To me, nothing can ever match the original source material, and even if the adaptations aren’t the best, I generally frown at re-makes or re-treads of the original story.
Well, I will eat my hat now. I re-watched the Villanueve Dune trailer probably half a dozen times a day for the past three days, and I’m super hyped to watch the film.
I never thought I’d feel that way, honestly. But let’s face it. The visuals and characterizations depicted in the trailer (I know, I know, trailers are misleading), added to Hans-freaking-Zimmer music, which incorporates Pink-freaking-Floyd’s song Eclipse (one of my very fave tunes of all time) and voila.
Shakes the mind up and instant fangirl comes out.
I joked that the first time I heard pieces of Eclipse in the trailer, the first thought in my head was “well, Pink Floyd must’ve got a damned fat paycheck for that one”, especially since they’ve never been big on others sampling their music for anything and are notorious online blockers.
But I got a chance to REALLY absorb this time. I found a track of just the trailer music, and hearing Hans Zimmer going a bit beyond what I’d heard before from him… and the new twist on the singing and orchestration of the original song added in… it just felt so damned good to hear. And it felt like it fit.
What got me interested also is that I’d always heard that Alejandro Jodorowsky wanted to do Dune way back in the 70s as a film and there were plenty of concepts for it. I noticed there’s a documentary about what could’ve been and I’m itching to rent or buy it when I get the chance. What I didn’t know and kept seeing in the comments is that at that time, Pink Floyd were approached to make the score for that unrealized version of Dune.
My jaw dropped when I read that. And it just felt too damned perfect to hear those fabulous lyrics with Zimmer’s orchestration, knowing that now.
There are only two films I’m gonna be excited to see in the theater (if I ever go back to theaters) or will buy as soon as they’re available on disc: Villanueve’s Dune and John Wick: Chapter 4 (whenever the hell that comes out).
So, to prepare myself for the awesomeness of Dune to come, I went to my book reading list and switched everything around… again. I was hoping to get to read 100 books this year, but unless I cheat and read a bunch of 30 page kids books, there’s no way in hell I’ll make that number. I’m aiming for at least 50 at this point, which gives me about 30 left to finish. And of those left to read, I chose to set aside the much skinnier fiction books and have put in every Dune book in my collection, which I think is all of them with the exception of some Dune short stories.
Well, I’m going to read them in universe order as best as I can figure. I had to consult a few sites to determine the proper reading order (so Dune itself is gonna be re-read in a few months, which I figured I’d re-review when the time comes so as to have some of the added context of the prequels and books written by Frank’s son and his co-writer to flesh out the universe.
But it’s more than that. I have a book of collected short stories from Frank Herbert that I plan to read first. Of all the sci-fi authors on my shelf, Herbert stands out to me because of Dune so strongly, and I’m curious what his other writings beyond the Dune universe entail. I’m actually really interested in his thought process and how he developed such a unique vision in the sci-fi landscape (there’s some interviews I’ve been itching to listen to or read with FH, so that’s gonna happen this weekend). I plan to read the short stories first, then jump into the Dune universe with The Butlerian Jihad. With luck, I should be done with the series by the end of the year.
And of course, I’m gonna scour the internet for the official soundtrack album (not the “sketchbook” version) and download or buy the CD as soon as I can. My imagination is so stirred up right now I just can’t wait to discover more.
In the meantime, I’m gonna watch the trailer again and bliss out to the music-only track…again.