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Jean Giraud concept art of Duke Leto from Dune

Back in the 70s, there was a move to make an adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune, an influential sci-fi novel that told an intellectual tale of a galaxy split by factions and political maneuvering, brought to its knees by the appearance of a messiah.

Attached was director Alejandro Jodorowsky, creator of "El Topo" and "Holy Mountain", who had assembled a rock-star team of talent to participate.

From the Wikipedia page on Jodorowsky:

"The project was intended to involve his son Brontis Jodorowsky as Paul, Orson Welles as the Baron, Salvador Dalí as the Emperor, Mick Jagger as Feyd Rautha, Alain Delon as Duncan Idaho, Geraldine Chaplin as Lady Jessica, David Carradine as Duke Leto and Gloria Swanson as The Benne Geserit Reverend Mother. Dan O'Bannon for the script, Chris Foss, Pink Floyd, H. R. Giger and Jean Giraud (Mśbius). "

That is the most outstanding lineup I've ever seen...

Unfortunately, the project collapsed, and it wouldn't be until the 80s, when David Lynch put out a much maligned version of "Dune", that people would crinkle their brows in confusion.

Still, we can dream of that movie that never was... to enhance that dream, has posted some scans of the concept art and storyboards by acclaimed sci-fi artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud.

The image above is of Duke Leto, from House Atreides, and the post has fantastic illustrations of the Baron Harkonnen and the Sardaukar, the elite emperor's soldiers.

It might sound like a whole heap of nonsense, but its rumoured that the work from this failed film went on to fill up the dreams of those that worked on "Star Wars", perhaps, notably, Dan O'Bannon, writer, while the work from Giraud was said to have inspired the look of teeming alien cities in George Lucas' masterpiece.

Well, we need a new generation of talented filmmakers to attempt to right this wayward project.

What happened to science fiction?

February 3rd 2009 00:32
Frank Frazetta science fiction space gun

I'm a deep admirer of science fiction, even since I was a little kid, clutching copies of Ray Bradbury books and Star Wars comic books.

I've continued to read sci-fi as I've aged, but my tastes have gotten more selective, opting for the cream of the crop, not satisfied with the hundreds of mundane, churned out novels about strange aliens and starship gun battles.

For example, we've posted on Cormac McCarthy's novel "The Road", a look at a wasteland future. It's arguably sci-fi, but it doesn't sit on the shelf next to the Space Monkey Armada series at Barnes & Noble.

The Guardian has noticed the same thing, that books that are ostensibly in the science fiction genre are desperately ensuring that they don't get classified as such...

"Jeanette Winterson has leapt into the fray too, commenting: "People say to me, 'so is the Stone Gods science fiction?' Well, it is fiction, and it has science in it, and it is set (mostly) in the future, but the labels are meaningless. I can't see the point of labelling a book like a pre-packed supermarket meal. There are books worth reading and books not worth reading. That's all.""

Writers and publishers are most likely keen to avoid the tag as the phrase 'science fiction' summons up images of spectacled nerds dressing up as Ewoks and going out for a night on the town.

While this is not an accurate image, it's popular enough to affect sales of the books, which is what we're really talking about. "The Road" is marketed as general fiction, or even as contemporary American literature since it was penned by Cormac McCarthy, who rose to even greater heights of fame when "No Country for Old Men" did big business in America.

When I read it, I quickly understood that it was an awesome addition to the science fiction collection. Less sci-fi oriented readers were probably enthralled by the idea - 'What? A book about a future where everything is burned out and wrecked? This is amazing! They should make movies, comic books and video games about this!'

Perhaps the point is that the classification of novels is really a futile exercise:

"Is it feasible, as Jeanette Winterson seems to be suggesting, to do away with all categories on novels, and simply file them all in an A-Z of general fiction? It might conceivably give every novel a fighting chance, but would the reader who visits a shop or library looking for the latest crime, war or, indeed, science fiction novel really be well served by such a move?"

*this image is from The Flea

Tony Leung gun standoff
Gunplay has become a must-have addition to any film or comic book about dangerous people. It's so overused and reliable that people that have never held a gun, like me, still seem to know a lot about firearms, including what kind of awesome sound they should make.

Or do I? At least, I know what the movies tell me.

A fascinating article on Dixonverse points out some inconsistencies with the fictional portrayal of firearms and the reality.

For example, Dixon notes that writes often use a phrase such as 'the cordite was as thick as fog', suggesting that there was so much gunfire, that the smell of cordite was predominant.

The problem is that cordite is now obsolete, and hasn't been used in ammunition for around 100 years! From Wikipedia:

"Cordite is now obsolete and it is no longer produced. Production ceased in the United Kingdom, around the end of the 20th century, with the closure of the last of the World War II Cordite factories, ROF Bishopton... The smell of Cordite is referenced erroneously in fiction to indicate the recent firing of weapons."

Dixon also mentions something that I've wondered about, having grown up with movies that feature violence in the black community, like "Dead Presidents" or "Friday".

Speaking of Friday:

Well, there's been a popular move to show gangbangers firing automatic handguns sideways, a stylistic choice, but one that results in complete inaccuracy:

"So they aim their handguns sideways and hunch over and kind of glare along their arm in lieu of actually aiming. In fact, when they do this their eyes aren't even looking at the site but at their victim. Intimidating your intended victims is all well and good. But it comes to naught if, when you finally start busting caps, you miss the other guy by six city blocks."

Great! Nothing to worry about in da Hood, then!

India female gang in pink gulabi

This is like a big, bad bag of revenge... women in India, long suppressed as a feeble gender, have banded together, put on pink saris and gone after the bloody throats of corrupt police officers and officials.

[ Click here to read more ]

Astro Boy Teaser Trailer!

November 24th 2008 12:11
Astro Boy manga cover

I think it's safe to say that many of us grew up watching Astro Boy, and hoped desperately that we could be a boy robot, with the strength to beat up much bigger robots.

[ Click here to read more ]

Little Annie Fanny

November 12th 2008 21:43
Little Annie Fanny was a full-colour comic strip by Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder for Playbot Magazine; it ran from 1962 to 1988, and was one of the highest quality strips to appear in the magazine.

Annie Fanny was the strip's central character, a blonde, blue-eyed, buxom woman with an innocent, gullible mind and a propensity for finding herself naked

[ Click here to read more ]

Gifts for your Star Wars-lovin' boyfriend

September 30th 2008 10:33

Beeblebrox Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy

Yes, it's true. The 6th installment of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is being written, but not by Douglas Adams.

[ Click here to read more ]

Dave Perillo's Movie Poster Art

September 11th 2008 01:13
Mos Eisley Cantina Dave Perillo
One thing the Internet has been a blessing for is the easy access to all types of fan-driven art for geeky movies.

Dave Perillo makes original movie posters for some of his favourite movies, like "Star Wars", "Dawn of the Dead" and "Shaun of the Dead". The above poster, for the Mos Eisley Cantina in "A New Hope" is full of charm and levity

[ Click here to read more ]

Louis Jordan playing saxophone

This 1944 song was penned by Louis Jordan, and the song would go on to some acclaim, being covered by a host of artists, from jazz to blues.

[ Click here to read more ]

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