Practical Effects, Part One

My therapist told me to watch Dune, so I haven’t been around in a while. I honestly just realized it was December. I’ve never experienced a fugue state with such tantalizing production design, I’ll tell you that. Maybe I’ve just been watching too many movies where polygons smash other polygons and bored-looking actors fly weightless spaceships wearing interchangeable supersuits that will be added in post-production. Everything in Dune feels real. The fabric of the costumes, the grit on the spaceships, the sand blowing through Timothée’s flawless curls (WHAT CONDITIONER ARE YOU USING), everything dared me to reach out and touch.

And when the space bagpipes (SPACE BAGPIPES!) started blaring? Automatic five stars. The movie could’ve ended right there and I would’ve thrown roses at the screen.

My only true critique is courtesy of my friend Jessie, who is a biologist, and does not like that the sandworms are so gigantic despite no clear evolutionary purpose for their size.

“How are they digesting all these spice trawlers?” she said. “What’s the point of eating them? Whales don’t attack cruise ships. That ornithopter is just going to cause an intestinal blockage.”

(Did I truly spell ornithopter correctly on the first try? I’M A FAN!).

I think a lot of us have been craving real, practical experiences, even if they come from a movie screen. I’ve been getting culture wherever I can.

Even Ohio.

Stella and I took the tiniest of road trips to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Stella is a music nerd of the highest order, and wanted to pay homage to the eponymous wall of Pink Floyd’s The Wall (which you’re not allowed to photograph, she tried, got yelled at) and Prince’s Blue Angel guitar (it’s hiding in a corner! Just what Prince would have wanted!).

My interests veer a bit more towards the whimsical.IMG_7194

This is the iconic “Left Shark” who decided that the Super Bowl halftime show was the perfect workshop for some freestyle choreography. Left Shark is the hero the world didn’t know it needed in 2015. When you find yourself in a 7-foot shark costume in front of 120 million people, you have to go with your gut. Left Shark was a punchline back then, but we’re way off the map now, and even the toothless things we took for granted like the Super Bowl halftime show seem weird and dangerous now. The world is remolding itself every other day and we’re trying to catch up with exhausted bodies and struggling minds, and most days it feels like this:

So why not dance like this? There are no rules anymore, there never were to begin with. In the midst of my Dune fugue state, I decided to revisit Denis Villeneuve’s equally gorgeous, thematically mature and psychologically rich earlier films only to discover that at this very moment, there exists a Blade Runner fanfic where everything is the same except Harrison Ford’s character is played by Donald Duck.

He’s Donald Deckard.

(No rules).

I feel like I should tie this all together by pitching some kind of alternate universe where Denis Villeneuve makes a psychological drama about a man in a shark costume.

And in that shark costume? Jason Momoa.

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