Science Fiction

Re-watched Dune

Watched Dune: Part One from

A noble family becomes embroiled in a war for control over the galaxy’s most valuable asset while its heir becomes troubled by visions of a dark future.

I thought I’d want to split this into two nights, but two and a half hours went faster than I recalled.

The Emperor plotline makes very little sense, unless it’s meant to serve as a warning to all the other houses.

I don’t think they pulled off a cohesive culture for the Atreides: they drew from multiple cultures, but pulled directly from them rather than integrating them — a Japanese tree inside their home on Caladan, Spanish bullfighting, Scottish bagpipes. To me, that felt worse than just adapting elements into something unified, but it could be intentional to remind us the Atreides are colonizers, or I suppose the filmmakers could be accused of cultural appropriation if they changed things? I think they’re more successful in creating the technology: tools like thumpers and the compass thing feel real, the projector technology is cool, and the way thopters fly seems to have been thought through.

Jessica is a badass, and I hope she gets more of a chance to use her power and skills in part two.

I’m still not sold on Gurney’s character. The intensity of the training scene is fantastic — and then there are weird moments insufficient to give him character, like awkwardly joking with his lord, then flipping his shit any time anyone else disrespects or even approaches him. My husband said he’s meant to be a bard but all his guitar scenes were removed. It’s also a shame he’s not given an on screen death — I wonder if it got cut. Or maybe he lives and I’ve forgotten in the twenty years since I read the book 😂

Some scenes in this movie are great, while others make me go huh, why did they keep that.

The Harkonnen sudden focus on exterminating the Fremen people feels like it comes out of nowhere.


Re-watched Dune – November 2022

Re-watched Dune – July 2022

Watched Dune – October 2021


Watched Into the Empty Quarter



Art and Design

Photographs of the unfinished desert

Liked Dry Land (

For six months, I cycled through the arid lands of the Maghreb and the Middle East with the idea of recreating a world from the landscapes and characters I met there. The American West is at the heart of my fascination with deserts and dry places. A territory paradoxically empty but rich in symbols. There everything reminds me of the unfinished, the in-between. Everything is being built.

Science Fiction

Re-watched Dune


First watched last fall.

I feel like I noticed a lot more of the visual details this time. This director is so good at the atmospheric shots, and the way spice is shown, floating and glittery, looks cool. The lighting is used to excellent effect — apparently they went and shot some desert footage in the Empty Quarter which probably shaped the look.

Lots of symbolism. The mouse was overplayed (and that CGI won’t stand the test of time). I don’t get what the bull was supposed to symbolize. Too many flash forwards IMO.

Science Fiction

Watched Dune

Watched Dune Movie | Official Website from Dune Movie | Official Website

Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049”) directs Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Dune,” the big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller of the same name.

It’s been twenty years since I read the book, but I recently read a graphic novel adpatation that covered about 2/3 of the movie, so I was refreshed on the plot. Many of the scenes overlapped, and honestly the graphic novel had a bit of an upper hand because it could spell out what people were thinking in thought bubbles. I did think the movie did a nice job of building in quiet / small character moments that added depth to relationships.

Visually the movie is stunning – the world is imagined in great detail. The picture quality looked fantastic on our TV. (Unfortunately, the sound kept skipping, which threw you out of the experience a bit.)

I like their typography:

It stopped at a logical place in the story — though, discussing with my husband who hasn’t read the book and was going in mostly blank, this offered basically zero resolution to any of the story arcs. In terms of the hero’s journey, it barely reaches him “accepting the call” / “crossing the threshold.” So a bit frustrating for him I think. It was very much a Part One, half of a whole, and it would be a shame if the second movie doesn’t get made and it ends there. But, unfortunate they wouldn’t fund both movies at the same time so if they do greenlight it, it’ll be several years before it’s resolved.

Would this have been better as a single-season TV show? Maybe, from a storytelling perspective? GoT showed that a series could build week after week without resolution in each episode, but an upping of the ante or change of the score.

Spoilers below


Watched America’s National Parks: Saguaro

Watched America’s National Parks from National Geographic – Videos, TV Shows & Photos – Canada

America’s National Parks fascinate millions of visitors. This spectacular series will show you what happens beyond the lookouts. More than 3 years in the making will enable the audience to witness moments full of drama, watch stories of life and death and discover hidden gems they never believed could be found in a place they thought they knew. Follow us on an epic journey from the geysers of Yellowstone to the rugged Pacific coast of the Olympic peninsula, from the hot desert of Saguaro to the icy Gates of the Arctic, from the subtropical sea of grass in the Everglades to the world-famous peaks of Yosemite and from the mystic Smoky Mountains to the biggest gorge on Earth: the Grand…

Nice idea to frame the desert park’s story around the showdown. The first “showdown” between a rattlesnake and roadrunner even used the face to face cuts from Western cinematography. Good soundtrack.

Cool Future Building History

Persian Desert Ice Storage Structure

Liked Yakhchāl (
Yakhchal of Yazd province

“A yakhchāl is an ancient type of evaporative cooler. Above ground, the structure had a domed shape, but had a subterranean storage space. It was often used to store ice, but sometimes was used to store food as well. The subterranean space coupled with the thick heat-resistant construction material insulated the storage space year round.” Wikipedia

“In most yakhchāls, the ice is created by itself during the cold seasons of the year; the water is channeled from the qanat (Iranian aqueduct) to the yakhchāl and it freezes upon resting inside the structure.”

“Sometimes equipped with a system of bâdgirs (ancient design of windcatchers or wind towers) that could easily bring temperatures inside the space down to frigid levels even in summer days… Bâdgirs catch the slightest breeze by the vents at the top and funnel the cooling air down through internal, vertically-placed wooded slats to the water or structure below. Alternately, the bâdgir can function as a chimney, expelling warm air upward to pull cool air in from a base opening…”