Friday, April 26, 2024

Serial Suppression

I am starting to realise that my disappointment with the Dune sequel was actually part of a larger pattern of serial disappointment with the oeuvre of Denis Villeneuve, previously disguised perhaps by the sheer gorgeousness of these films.

I've accumulated enough circumstantial evidence to declare that, either intentionally or through a form of negligence, the Canadian director has been taking science fiction narratives grounded in really meaty ideas and, in effect, vegetarianising them (though until Dune Part Two he had not gone fully vegan!) 
I've now read a few chapters of Dune and have been fairly astonished how many crucial concepts he must have been minded to suppress.

With Herbert and Dick there was, I suppose, the available excuse that their works were like the fossilised remains of twentieth century dinosaurs, brimming with exotic, perhaps even outlandish concerns which don't necessarily transfer to our present moment. (And might even offend an overly sensitive person.)

Yet that would surely not be the case with Ted Chiang, whose short story was adapted as Arrival, seemingly after filtering out almost all its rather profound observations about linguistics and free will.

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