Aug 22, 2008

The Spice Must Flow

I was just about to call it a night, but then flipping channels I landed on Dune. The original one of course, with Kyle MacLachlan, those strangely operatic sets and costumes, and of course gloriously undressed Sting. The movie is so completely over the top in every aspect, costumes, set, acting, plot, to the most minute detail that it ascends to a whole another sphere. I have loved and been mesmerized by this sublimely baroque space nonsense since I first laid eyes on its first perplexing frame.

But then, as I was watching, I realized how this move could be taken as an allegory for the Middle East. The powers to be wrestle for the control of a far away desert planet (country) for a single reason: it's the source of a very valuable resource, the spice (oil). This resource moves the universe (world) and it must flow. The desert dwelling natives resent the foreign occupiers (liberators) and want to dispel them. The native freedom fighters (insurgents) attack the invaders and commit acts of heroism (terrorism). It is a pretty good match, except for the Hollywood ending: Lawrence (Paul) of Arrakis wins the war and makes it rain.

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