Tag: Timothee Chalamet

‘Dune’: A Story of Exploitation

A film adaptation of Dune, the 1965 science fiction novel by Frank Herbert, is going to debut in theaters this December 18th. With its last theatrical release in 1984, director Denis Villeneuve is updating the epic for a new generation, focusing more on the politics found in the book, or more specifically, the ever present theme of exploitation, for as with any good sci-fi, it has a comment to make about our own world.

 

Image via Inverse

 

Set in the far future amidst a feudal interstellar civilization where noble families control planetary fiefs, Dune follows Leto Atreides, whose family accepts the stewardship of the planet Arrakis. While the planet is an inhospitable and sparsely populated desert wasteland, it is the only source of melange, or “the spice”, a drug that extends life and enhances mental abilities. Leto is forced to become the planet Arrakis’ governor, but faces opposition from the Fremen – the planet’s indigenous population – and this is where its theme of exploitation is explored.

 

 

For Oscar Issac, the actor that will be playing Leto Atreides, Dune‘s relevance to the real world is powerfully clear:

It’s about the destiny of a people, and the different way that cultures have dominated other ones. How do a people respond when it’s at the tipping point, when enough is enough, when they’re exploited? All those things are things we’re seeing around the world right now.

From Nestlé using child labor in their Ghana and Ivory Coast-based cocoa farms to Apple providing the people of Zhengzhou, China with conditions in their factories so poor that many workers have allegedly attempted to commit suicide, exploitation of far away lands is unfortunately still a very real problem. While we may no longer be living in the days when nations hostilely took land and subjected the local populace to forced labor, you could make the very real argument that imperialism is still alive and well, just reformed to fit with our modern moral sensibilities.

 

 

Science fiction is the genre that holds a mirror up to contemporary society, and while Dune covers a wide variety of themes, from the decline of empires to the dynamics of gender, arguably its most important theme is its commentary on capitalism unchecked by moral conscious.

 

Featured image via Nerdist

First Look at Timothée Chalamet in ‘Dune’ Adaptation

Timothée Chalamet, the actor from Lady Bird, Little Women, and The King is now set to star in Dune, a new Science-Fiction movie adaptation.

Timothee Chalamet will star as Paul Atreids, the main character from author Frank Hebert’s novel by the same name Dune. Denis Villeneuve is set to direct the film which is coming out in December 18th 2020. 

 

Vanity Fair has released a first look photo from the new film, which you can see down below. It features Paul standing on the beach of Caladan.

Image via vanity fair

This is going to be a star studded feature film with actors such as Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Rampling, Dave Bautista and Javier Bardem already on board.

Dune was already adapted into a film before in 1984, by David Lynch, but with mixed reviews. Hopefully, this one will be better! I mean, it should be, considering it’s amazing cast!

Featured image via indiewire

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Hachette Controversy Update

You may recall our article from last week on the controversy over Hachette’s choice to publish a memoir from accused sexual abuser Woody Allen.

As of our last article, protests were merely hypothetical, but the book community did take a stand, and Hachette employees in New York and Boston even walked out in protest, according to the BBC.

Hachette’s initial reaction to objections from Allan’s own son, renown investigative journalist Ronan Farrow (see our original article for more on Farrow and his objections, as well as further background), was tepid at best, and even now, they have been reported as saying (see the BBC again), that they don’t cancel deals with authors lightly. Then again, many other publishers rejected Allen’s memoir outright, and Amazon canceled a four movie deal with the infamous director after the reemergence of abuse allegations.

The walk out, combined with apparent meetings with employees, seem to have convinced Hachette to cancel the book this week.

The memoir was set to come out in April, though announcement seems to have been delayed, and Farrow alleges the deal was hidden from him by the publisher, and the delay in announcement certainly pushed off protests, deliberately or not.

 

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Featured image via Fire

Investigative Journalist Calls Out Major Publisher Hachette

Renown Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and author of Catch and Kill, Ronan Farrow, has cut ties with that book’s publisher, Hachette (publisher behind imprints Grand Central, Little Brown, and many more), after the imprint’s controversial decision to publish a memoir written by his father, Woody Alan, who has many allegations against him for sexual assault of his adoptive daughters, both as adults and children. Read a concise breakdown of those allegations here. Farrow says in his announcement tweet (see below) that he is disappointed, especially in light of the fact that other major publishing houses have rejected the work, citing commercial risks in the age of #metoo.

Image via @RonanFarrow on Twitter

Farrow also states that Hachette has failed to fact check Allen’s book, which is corroborated by original accuser Dylan Farrow, who has also denounced Hachette, and says she has not been contacted about the book’s contents.

Hachette’s chief executive, Michael Pietsch, is quoted as saying “our job as a publisher is to help the author achieve what they have set out to do in the creation of their book,” while apparently failing to comment on the calls from Farrow for the memoir to be heavily fact checked.

It’s not just publishers, either. Many actors have refused to work on Allen’s films, and since allegations resurfaced, some who had worked with him have apologized, several even donating the pay they received to charities combating sexual abuse, including Rebecca Hall and Timothee Chalamet, according to Indie Wire.

Farrow also says that the acquiring and publishing of his adoptive father’s memoir was hidden from him while he was working on the publication of his own book, Catch and Kill, itself an exploration of how allegations of sexual assault and abuse, such as those against his father, are suppressed by the powerful individuals at whom they are leveled.

It’s not yet clear whether this publishing decision, or Farrow’s criticism, will lead to a boycott of Hachette and it’s imprints.

 

See our update on this story here.

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Featured image via the Los Angeles Times