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Movie of the Week

Time to go Dune riding 

‘Dune: Part Two’ continues the film adaptation of one of the world’s best-known science fiction novels, writes JASON BANNIER.

Dune: Part Two, the follow-up to 2021’s six-time Academy Award-winning Dune, opens at Ster Kinekor cinemas from today (1 March 2024).

The movie explores the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a path of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavours to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.

The new movie is directed by Denis Villeneuve, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jon Spaihts. The cast features Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar nominees Josh Brolin and Austin Butler, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling and Oscar winner Javier Bardem. New to the cast are Oscar nominee Florence Pugh, Oscar winner Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux, and Souheila Yacoub.

Director Denis Villeneuve filmed Dune: Part Two for IMAX with the Arri Alexa 65 and LF model IMAX-certified cameras. These cameras capture high-quality sequences to deliver excellent clarity, colour and have been optimised for IMAX cinemas.

In one of the highlights of the movie, Atreides rides a giant worm for the first time. The scene turned out to be the production’s biggest challenge.

Villeneuve says: “There’s a shot where Paul finally rides on the worm. It’s a shot that we see his foot and finally he stands up and finds his balance on the worm for the very first time. It’s a bit like where he becomes a Fremen, where he becomes an adult. 

“It’s barely described in the book, and I had to imagine the technique. How he will be physically able to jump onto a worm, making that look real, dangerous, and edgy? It required a tremendous amount of time and research and development, and it was by far the most complex sequence I have ever done in my life. I am reluctant to dive too much into the technicality of it because I love to keep the magic…”

Dune was originally written by author Frank Herbert and published in 1965. The novel has been translated into many languages and is one of the world’s best-selling science fiction novels.

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