I notice on the cover of the Sunday supplement of this newspaper, a headline with a lyrical aroma. It goes like this: “The excitement of going back to movie theaters.” I have not done without that supposedly exciting act after three months of confinement. And I can swear that, except in minimal cases, that feeling that floods my soul has not assailed me. The narrative or poetic quality, the suspense or fear, the emotional identification, the sensations that being a witness to stories, characters, situations and dialogues endowed with art gives you, would be an excellent reason to practice the ritual of returning to the cinema, but if what I see and hear makes me disinterested, bored or irritated, I don’t care to suffer it on a big screen and accompanied or on a small one and alone.
I understand the appeal that will gather for many people that after a year and a half desert a film like Dune, which aims to represent the great show. Hollywood has known for a long time that it has a clientele as numerous as it is loyal, responding to its invariable formulas. It happened with the galactic saga (I liked the first ones, the rest seems to me as mechanical as predictable) and Marvel cinema, inhabited exclusively by superheroes and supervillains, a genre full of noise, packed with fast and clonic images, incessant music, empty . I speak as always of my tastes. The permanent box office success of these types of films confirms that the clientele is massive. Your reasons will have. But the great adventure cinema that has made me happy since I was a child, I think I remember or verify in joyous reviews that it was otherwise. Well, for tastes there are the colors, which condemns popular wisdom.
I approach the press pass of Dune to the Kinépolis cinemas in Madrid, which guarantee an overwhelming vision and sound. It is directed by Denis Villeneuve, someone with a vocation as an author who has made films that disturbed or fascinated me. What Fires, Prisoners, Hitman and The arrival. Along with others that I found tedious, irrelevant, pretentious, including the unnecessary continuation of the justifiably legendary Blade Runner. Here he re-adapts the literary saga invented by novelist Frank Herbert to the cinema. I have not read it. Science fiction fans revere her. They will have their reasons. It is a literary genre that I have not frequented, although I am passionate about the work of Ray Bradbury. Perhaps this one made science fiction, but above all I have always considered him an earthly poet. And I know that his chronicles were Martian. The first film adaptation of Dune It bore the signature of the sanctified David Lynch. It seemed to me a horror, a chaos without the slightest grace.
I screw myself into the armchair, hoping to be entertained or in awe during the very long footage of Dune. But from the beginning I get a bit lost with his argument. It places it in a desert galaxy, in which the most coveted thing is the exploitation of a species called melange. The emperor must negotiate between the power he bestows on the epic and civilized members of the Atreides family and the response from the villainous, dark and bloodthirsty members of the Harkonnen family. All this surrounded by a halo of esotericism, incessant galactic battles and the elegiac prominence of a young Atreides destined to become the symbol of good. In other words, the usual roll, the confrontation between light and darkness.
The images are spectacular and bleak, the music never rests, the tone of the story pretends to be epic and philosophical. None of this prevents my indifference towards the characters or what the stylist director tries to tell me. No emotion, of course, but a remarkable tedium. And I wish it goes well for DuneIf this serves for the return of the general public, I imagine that it is mostly youthful. But it does not cause me any of the sensations that make me continue to love cinema. What cinema? The one I like, the one I consider good. At this point, abandoning dogmatism seems like an undesirable chimera to me.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.