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The secret hyperlink between Christopher Walken and ‘Dune’


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If you turned on MTV for any size of time in 2001, you virtually definitely noticed Christopher Walken flying across the foyer of a Marriott in Los Angeles. Even in an period when music movies had been way more hotly mentioned than they’re now, it was a bizarre sight. Walken’s trim shock of grey hair matched his grey go well with, punctuated by a pink tie; he regarded much less just like the film star he was than some man on an extended layover.

The music was Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice,” a bizarre little ditty that did make you wish to dance. Having skilled as a dancer in his youth — and carried out an excessive amount of faucet and extra in “Pennies From Heaven” (1981) — Walken was effectively outfitted for the idea that the video’s director, Spike Jonze, had cooked up: Normal-looking man hanging out in a resort foyer hears the music, begins dancing, then flies off a mezzanine earlier than, ultimately, returning to his seat. The video was a success, successful a number of MTV Video Music Awards and a Grammy.

The lyrics to “Weapon of Choice” (sung by Bootsy Collins) are closely distorted — the purpose isn’t the phrases a lot because the hypnotic beat. But for those who hear intently, you’ll be able to choose up the road “Walk without rhythm/and it won’t attract the worm.”

Yes, it’s a reference to “Dune.”

In Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, large historic sandworms that stay beneath the desert on the planet Arrakis are massively harmful to people, although their energy will be harnessed for journey and different functions. They’re one of the well-known parts of the story, so immediately identifiable that they had been made right into a dubiously conceived popcorn bucket for the discharge of Denis Villeneuve’s new “Dune: Part Two.” And they’re drawn to rhythmic thumps on the floor, so the Fremen — individuals who stay within the Arrakis desert — stroll in unusual, loping, arrhythmic steps to keep away from unintended detection.

In the video, Walken even appears to be imitating these steps:

These lyrics additionally seem. They may imply something, in fact.

Don’t be shocked
by the tone of my voice
Check out my new weapon
weapon of selection

But it definitely would make sense if it was a reference to “the voice” (or is it THE VOICE?), a strong vocal distortion that the paranormal sisterhood Bene Gesserit use to manage individuals in “Dune.”

This was all a humorous reference in 2021, when the primary installment in Villeneuve’s adaptation of “Dune” appeared in theaters. But it obtained a lot funnier in “Dune: Part Two.” In the brand new movie, the position of Emperor Shaddam — who engineered the extinction, or so he thought, of the House Atreides, making him technically the baddest of the dangerous guys — is performed by Walken himself.

Coincidence? Maybe. Delightful? Absolutely.


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