Is seeing the new Dune film at home like “drive a speedboat in your bathtub?” According to director Denis Villeneuve, that’s exactly what it would feel like.
The filmmaker has launched a debate over Film Twitter and the industry trades this past week. Known for wanting to preserve the cinematic experience, much like his peer Christopher Nolan, Villeneuve recently dropped some comments about the release of Dune and the best way to see the sci-fi epic.
When speaking to Total Film, the Blade Runner 2049 director first stated that the real issue here is the pandemic and called it “the enemy of cinema.” The ongoing global health pandemic has massively shifted the industry, pushing most studios to find other routes to releasing their films. Villeneuve states that he does understand “tremendous pressure” on studios, but he’s still not enjoying the push to streaming.
“The way it happened, I’m still not happy,” Villeneuve said in the Total interview. “Frankly, to watch Dune on a television, the best way I can compare it is to drive a speedboat in your bathtub. For me, it’s ridiculous. It’s a movie that’s made as a tribute for the big-screen experience.”
Film Twitter took these comments very; personally, some agreed and some found his attitude elitist. The people who disagreed with them cited the fact that many film lovers fell in love with the medium through the VHS and DVDs. Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail said he loved Denis Villeneuve’s work but disagreed.
LOVE Denis & think he’s one of the best directors out there, but disagree here. Saw 2001 on VHS & it changed my life. Most ppl will not have the luxury to see some films in theaters, esp the classics. Doesn’t mean u shouldn’t see them & it doesn’t mean they’re not as powerful. https://t.co/LFCyaGy1Wt
— Sam Esmail (@samesmail) August 17, 2021
Conversely, director Peter Ramsey backed Villeneuve’s viewpoint and compared going to the movies to a “church” experience.
But when you are a kid who saw movies mainly on TV as I did, and you do get to see a movie the way it should be seen on the rare occasions you got to go — it’s church. It’s not just consumption of a product. It’s more than that.
— Peter Ramsey (@pramsey342) August 18, 2021
Dune is set to hit both theaters and HBO Max on October 22nd. The film will see its world premiere, in a cinema, at the Venice Film Festival on September 3rd.
A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
Dune is directed by Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) and sees Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) leading the cast alongside Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Fallout), Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Dave Bautista (Avengers: Infinity War), Stellan Skarsgard (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), Charlotte Rampling (Red Sparrow), Zendaya (Spider-Man: Far From Home), Javier Bardem (Loving Pablo), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Josh Brolin (Avengers: Endgame), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Sex Education), and Chang Chen (The Assassin).