Jodorowsky’s Dune

j-duneJodorowsky’s Dune is a documentary about a film that never got made. Chances are you’re familiar with Dune, a supposed science fiction masterpiece by Frank Herbert that I’ve never read, but probably should (and want to a little bit more after seeing this documentary). You might not be as familiar with Alejandro Jodorowsky as you should, but I’ll let it slide because, let’s face it, Jodorowsky’s stuff is “not for everyone,” and that’s putting it lightly. If you are familiar with Jodorowsky, your mind probably pops and reels at the thought of him putting the worlds of Dune to film. This documentary follows the talented artists who got together and worked hard for two years to conceive of a film so big it could never be made.

In 1973, Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain was released, with a fair degree of success – cult film fans everywhere were drooling over it (and still do). It is one of the most bizarre, visually stunning films I’ve ever seen. Based on its success, film producer Michel Seydoux approached Jodorowsky, telling him for his next film, we’ll do “anything you want.” Dangerous words to a visionary mind like Alejandro Jodorowsky, and from that moment on the film just gets enormously ambitious. The artists Jodorowsky approaches to work on his film are not just colleagues, they are his “warriors” who he believes will be fit to work on this project that will change the world. The likes of Dan O’Bannon, Jean Giraud (Mœbius), Chris Foss and H.R. Giger are drafted to create the visuals of Dune‘s universe, while Jodorowsky plots to get David Carradine, Orson Welles, Mick Jagger and even Salvador Dali acting in the film.

After seeing a healthy bit of Jodorowsky’s filmography, I honestly expected to meet a man who was half out of his mind; an evil, drooling genius perhaps. But what you find in this documentary is a normal guy with a huge passion to change the perceptions of the people who see his work. He wants to change the world, and Dune was going to do it. He is absolutely charming, and in the moments when he talks about the film being rejected by studio after studio, you can see how deeply the “failure” still affects him. But, as you can see from some of the images taken from the gigantic script he and team presented to the studios, bits and pieces of the film can be found in science fiction movies from Star Wars to Prometheus. Despite the fact it was never made, Jodorowsky’s Dune was still enormously influential. Imagine what would have happened had one of those studios bitten?

It doesn’t matter if you don’t like Jodorowsky’s films. It doesn’t matter if you’re not interested in science fiction. You can be the biggest Dune fan ever, or perhaps you’ve never even heard of it. If you create or consume art in any way, you need to see this film. You’ll never be able to forget again that to create something truly amazing, you have to have passion. The unfortunate thing about Hollywood is, you also need lots and lots of money, and no amount of artistic passion can convince a big Hollywood studio a film is worth making. All I can say is, I cannot fucking wait for The Dance of Reality, Jodorowsky’s first film in years, and the first time he and Michel Seydoux collaborated again after the failed vision of Dune.



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