what Denis Villeneuve owes to David Lynch

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Of course, this is only a matter of speculating on a few images taken from a trailer. But the seven mistakes game was so tempting. By re-adapting Frank Herbert’s masterpiece Dune (since its release the best-selling science fiction book in the world), Denis Villeneuve (Hitman, Premier contact, Blade Runner 2049) could only follow in David Lynch’s footsteps.

This is undoubtedly why the IMDB site has allowed itself to add its stone to the already bloated critical edifice swarming on the networks.

By publishing a comparative video, the online database (owned by Amazon and authoritative in terms of cinema data) has fun setting up a system of rhyming images between the 1984 film directed by David Lynch, shunned by the public and scratched by the critics on its release, and the three minutes of this promising first trailer.

It should be noted from the outset that it makes perfect sense to discover visual similarities between the two Dune… since Lynch and Villeneuve drink from the same literary source. And what a source!

So, 36 years apart, a sort of virtual rivalry is established between Timothée Chalamet in Denis Villeneuve’s version against Kyle MacLachlan in David Lynch’s.

The two actors play Paul Atréides, the young hero, son of Duke Leto Atréides who will be brought to reign on the planet Arrakis, otherwise called Dune, and from which comes a commodity as rare as it is precious called “the Spice”.

In most of the scenes, the two actors are filmed close-up, stoic and concentrated, like chess players with their faces closed. In Herbert’s book, the character of Paul must, from an early age, learn to hide his emotions. He is, at first, crushed by a destiny that exceeds him.

Timothée Chalamet and Kyle MacLachlan undergo the ordeal of the box of suffering inflicted by the Bene Gesserit. Screenshot.

By slipping her hand into Priestess Bene Gesserit’s “box of suffering”, or by training with her fencing master equipped with a force field as invisible armor, or even by advancing alone on the shore. from his home planet while immense spaceships rise, Paul Atreides appears as a sort of new galactic Messiah, whose mission is to reconquer the planet Arrakis.

The romance between Paul and Shani seems to be treated in much the same way in both cases. Even though Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya exchange a chaste kiss while Kyle MacLachlan kisses Sean Young more passionately (the unforgettable Rachel of Blade Runner).

the chaste kiss between Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya facing the (more fiery) one of Kyle MacLachlan and Sean Young. screenshot.

The only difference that seems visible and objective lies in the treatment of colors. The Dune by Denis Villeneuve appears darker, with a gray dotted with sandy hues, while David Lynch’s version was warmer, without adopting the “flashy” hues of the 1980s.

Recall that the IMDB site had produced a similar video for Villeneuve’s previous film, Blade Runner 2049, showing that the director never hesitates to highlight his influences, in the face of Blade Runner original de Ridley Scott.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that Villeneuve’s film slavishly plagiarizes Lynch’s. A few months ago, the Franco-Canadian director himself said that, even if she let him “Half satisfied”, Lynch’s version had inspired him. We see here that he was able to pay tribute to some strong moments of the first film.

While waiting to see the film in theaters on December 23, fans can still watch again. the teaser of this new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction masterpiece. Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson and Timothée Chalamet will be part of the Atreides family while Javier Bardem and Zendaya will lead the Fremen. And for those nostalgic for David Lynch’s version, the trailer is available on YouTube. With Sting as a bonus.

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