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David Lynch's DUNE--new DVD (merged thread)


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#1 of 714 MarcusUdeh

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Posted June 08 2004 - 07:02 AM

Out of respect for David Lynch, should Universal, which to my knowledge is currently working on a Dune: Special Edition DVD release, two separate editions?

The Theatrical Version, custom catered to Lynchian style DVD specs (i.e. no chapter stops.) While the much debate TV Edit would have it’s own release. It could contain a new documentary on the controversy this version caused. The TV Edit could have chapter stops because it doesn’t represent David Lynch. I’m thinking the TV Edit could be 3 Disc.
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#2 of 714 Michael Reuben

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Posted June 08 2004 - 07:45 AM

Quote:
Universal, which to my knowledge is currently working on a Dune: Special Edition DVD release
Is this knowledge based on anything other than the material covered in this thread?

Since I think it's very unlikely that Universal will ever release the execrable Alan Smithee version (and it wouldn't be widescreen if they did), I doubt it matters. And AFAIK, Lynch is not opposed to chapter stops in general. He just didn't want them on Mulholland Drive.

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#3 of 714 Jeremy

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Posted June 08 2004 - 08:41 AM

Quote:
He just didn't want them on Mulholland Drive.

Or on The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Eraserhead, Straight Story, etc.
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#4 of 714 Larry House

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Posted June 08 2004 - 08:43 AM

Re: Lynch and chapter stops, here is the text on the insert from the DVD of The Straight Story:

Quote:
I know that most DVDs have chapter stops. It is my opinion that a film is not like a book -- it should not be broken up. It is a continuum and should be seen as such. Thank you for your understanding.

(signed) David Lynch

The Straight Story does not have chapter stops, neither does Eraserhead. I don't know firsthand about any of his other movies on DVD.

#5 of 714 Michael Reuben

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Posted June 08 2004 - 08:48 AM

I don't know what edition of Blue Velvet you're looking at, Jeremy, but my MGM special edition (with transfer supervised by Lynch) has chapter stops, 28 of 'em. I don't own the other discs, but the only Lynch title that ever generated a lot of traffic around here on this issue was Mulholland Drive.

Larry, thanks for that information. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens with any subsequent edition of Dune (assuming there is one).

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#6 of 714 Jeremy

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Posted June 08 2004 - 09:05 AM

I stand corrected.

I assume that MGM was unwilling to accommodate him.
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#7 of 714 JonathanG

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Posted June 08 2004 - 10:14 AM

I'll believe it when I see it.

(how do you post/copy a quote from another member?)

#8 of 714 Vincent_P

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Posted June 08 2004 - 04:33 PM

TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME also has chapter stops, although it doesn't have any chapter screen menus.

Also, there's no reason Universal couldn't remaster the extra footage from the DUNE T.V. version in widescreen, since obviously it must exist on film in their vaults, where else would they have gotten those scenes to include in the TV version to begin with?

What would be nice would be a release of DUNE akin to what was done with the ALIEN special editions- the true theatrical cut, plus a fully remastered "screenplay edit" put together in the SPIRIT of Lynch's final version (unlike the horrible way the TV cut was cobbled together), but simply closer to what his screenplay originally intended. The TV version itself is terrible, but some of the extra scenes themselves are quite good. If they were simply incorporated back into the theatrical cut without chopping the rest of the film up and chaning the voice-overs, repeating shots, altering music, etc. etc. like the TV version did, we might have something decent.

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#9 of 714 Allan^L

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Posted June 08 2004 - 04:36 PM

I wish they'd release a SE of Children of Dune. That was a great miniseries.

#10 of 714 Ernest Rister

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Posted June 08 2004 - 07:10 PM

Dune is a beautiful train wreck. Ambitious. Spectacular. But still a train wreck. It was the Battlefield Earth of its day, in fact. I'd rather see a two-hour documentary about what went wrong than see the whole mess unleashed on the world again. I'm actually rather curious about the TV version, because I don't know how this thing could get worse, and perhaps this version actually improves the film.

#11 of 714 Andrew Priest

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Posted June 08 2004 - 08:08 PM

Well, as one person put it, there is always more down. But I'd second the vote for a documentary that actually covers what went wrong. Even though I suspect a script that makes little to no sense was the start. It has to be a bad sign when a movie opens by having someone tell you the plot. Still, with the director and the cast and the budget it really would be interesting to see where it all came apart.
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#12 of 714 Ernest Rister

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Posted June 08 2004 - 08:35 PM

By the way, file this away in the trivia books -- the first film to ever play on a THX screen in Austin, Texas was Dune.

The second was Fantasia - the 1982 version, with the entire soundtrack re-recorded by modern musicians and conducted by Irwin Kostal. .

#13 of 714 Brian Kidd

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Posted June 09 2004 - 12:26 AM

Actually, I don't think it would be possible to create a widescreen TV version, as there were some shots that simply flipped existing shots or used one half or the other of other existing shots. It really isn't an improvement. Just longer.
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#14 of 714 Michael Reuben

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Posted June 09 2004 - 02:21 AM

In addition, the effects shots would have to be completed. For example, the Fremmen do not have blue eyes in any of the scenes added to the TV version. The resulting back-and-forth in their appearance is bizarre (at best).

Quote:
It was the Battlefield Earth of its day, in fact.

An inapt comparison. Dune has always had its fans, and there are a number of sequences (mostly in the first half) that still have a kind of strange magic which hints at what might have been. No one could ever say that about Battlefield Earth.

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#15 of 714 Will K

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Posted June 09 2004 - 02:21 AM

I guess if Universal ever wanted to create an "extended" version using deleted footage, fine, but the TV version is bloody awful. The storyboards and stuff are bad enough, but that old geezer narration is absolutely painful.
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#16 of 714 Bill Williams

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Posted June 09 2004 - 03:39 AM

For that matter, "creating" additional scenes by cobbling together different clips from different parts of the film and throwing in sound bytes, and making us believe that it's a "lost" scene, is an outright cheat and a slap in the face to die-hard Dune fans. Case in point: the "scene" where the Reverend Mother travels to Caladan to meet with Lady Jessica is nowhere to be found in the original novel, nor was it shot for the film.

There are several smaller moments throughout the extended version, from different shots of the Atreides military patrolling the outside of the headquarters, to the Harkonnen forces approaching Arakkis, to the transport arriving on Giedi Prime to deliver Baron Harkonnen and Feyd, to the Fremen attacks on the spice miners, that are cobbled and repeated throughout the TV version. Somehow, I have trouble justifying doubling or even tripling different shots throughout an extended TV broadcast of a film and calling it "lost" or "new" footage. True, one or two shots were duplicated for the extended destruction of Krypton in the TV broadcasts of "Superman", and that works. But in the case of Lynch's "Dune", the TV broadcast is a mess.

Taking creative liberties is one thing, as was the case with John Harrison's very good "Dune" miniseries from 2000, in which he expanded the character of Princess Irulan from an omniscient narrator (as portrayed in Lynch's theatrical adaptation) to an active participant. That made her on-screen presence better, and I can deal with that.

And Michael has an excellent point in which many of the additional moments involving the Fremens' eyes switching back and forth from blue to normal gets confusing. If those shots were restored, it would be a basic CGI coloring of the eyes in those additional moments.

Who's to say how much footage there is that is still out there that hasn't been seen by the public? For all we know, Lynch may either be sitting on the footage, or it could have been destroyed and forever lost.

This is a strangely appealing film, for some reason, and it has its strengths and weaknesses throughout. We should be grateful for what we have, even in its flawed form.
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#17 of 714 MarcusUdeh

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Posted June 09 2004 - 03:59 AM

Personally I appreciate Dune, original theatrical feature, as standing. Yes the third act of the picture is rushed, and makes one wonder, about the cutting room floor. About restoring the scenes from the TV Edit, would it be cheaper for Universal do a new digital intermediate color timed transfer? In that case the Fremen would have their blue within blue eyes, heck it could be Panic Room blue-green. It would be cool if, the Shadout Mapes'
death by knife scene surfaced

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#18 of 714 Jeff Adkins

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Posted June 09 2004 - 04:53 AM

FYI, the 2 disc TV cut of Dune is available from Korea and is not region coded. It says it's Region 3, but it's not.

#19 of 714 David_Blackwell

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Posted June 09 2004 - 07:11 AM

There has been reports that David Lynch's first cut of the movie came in at about four hours, but Video watchdog did do a 2 part article comparing the theater version to the extended TV version to the final script and one can see there was some scenes cut that didn't make it into the extended TV version (and new scenes edited strangely like some not including the fully shot scene).
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#20 of 714 Roger_R

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Posted June 09 2004 - 08:53 AM

From the booklet that came with the R2 SE of Dune:

"Yet one other event had occurred just before Lynch quit Mexico City for Los Angeles, an occurrence that would soon become legend. For on January 29, 1984, Lynch screened an approximately four-to-five hour rouch cut (accounts wary) of his picture to those DUNE cast and crew members still remaining in Mexico City. This was the sole time the only true, so-called "Extended Version" of DUNE - whose theatrical running time would clock out at 137 minutes - was publicly screened in something of the shape its director had intended".

Some of the material seen in the "Cast and Crew Screening" of DUNE included a longer version of Alia's birthing sequence; a knife fight between Paul and Jamis (he was credited in the final version, but never seen); a scene were Jamis' wife and children (wife played by Molly Wryn, credited but never seen in theatrical cut); burning of Jamis' body to recover its water; and the death of Thufir Hawat by poison near the movie's end.

The booklet explains that De Laurentiis wanted a 2 hour cut of the movie, whereas Lynch wanted it to be at least 3 hours. It also mentions that Lynch was originally contracted to do 3 Dune movies and he was already working on the script for Children of Dune, which he himself thought was going to be better than Dune.


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