Movie Suggestion XXIV: Jodorowsky’s Dune
Country: France/ USA – 2013
Directed by: Frank Pavich
Starring: Alejandro Jodorowsky and H.R. Giger.
Synopsis: “In 1975, Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky, whose films EL TOPO and THE HOLY MOUNTAIN launched and ultimately defined the midnight movie phenomenon, began work on his most ambitious project yet. Starring his own 12 year old son Brontis alongside Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, David Carradine and Salvador Dali, featuring music by Pink Floyd and art by some of the most provocative talents of the era, including HR Giger and Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud, Jodorowsky’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel DUNE was poised to change cinema forever.” (rottentomatoes.com).
“The documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune” is one of those great lost-masterpiece movies, a worthy addition to a cinematic canon that includes Terry Gilliam’s “Lost in La Mancha,” about his failed attempt to make “Don Quixote,” and “It’s All True,” about Orson Welles’s misbegotten South America project of the same name.
Still, “Jodorowsky’s Dune” is a deeply moving testament to single-minded, indefatigable commitment of creative vision and to an almost spiritual ability to let that vision go, thereby allowing it to exist in the world in an entirely unexpected form.
In the case of Jodorowsky, elements of his “Dune” can be found in any number of movies — from “Star Wars” to “Alien,” which O’Bannon wrote — that changed movie grammar forever. As Jodorowsky himself reflects philosophically, “Things come, you say yes. Things go away, you say yes.” As “Jodorowsky’s Dune” makes clear, when some things come back, you say yes then, too.” (washingtonpost.com)
“Jodorowsky, now 85, didn’t merely want to make an epic out of Herbert’s epic-length classic. He wanted to make “the most important picture in the history of humanity,” a movie that would “connect with God.” This, from a man who gave himself the line, “I am God,” in his trippy 1970 cult phantasmagoria “El Topo.”
It was the underground success of “El Topo” among the stoner set that gave Hollywood the notion that maybe this wild man was the right guy to capture the imaginations and the ticket-buying dollars of the generation that had embraced Stanley Kubrick’s mind-blowing “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 1968.
With extraordinary intensity, Jodorowsky relates how he threw himself into the project, seeking collaborators who would be “spiritual warriors” to go into battle with him. He found visionary artists, Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger and French illustrator Jean “Moebius” Giraud, to create his images. He got Mick Jagger to agree to be in the picture along with Salvador Dalí and Orson Welles. He created a gigantic book of storyboard illustrations, whose images are brought to life through artful animation in Pavich’s film.” (http://seattletimes.com/)
“As envisioned, the movie would have also been 12 hours long, which is one of the many reasons why no Hollywood studio was willing to take the gamble. But Jodorowsky doesn’t seem bitter or disappointed. Instead, he seems enthusiastic and proud of his ability to adapt the novel in his inimitable way. The film wasn’t made, but it exists in his head.”
A must-see, much like everything that Jodorowsky and Giger were involved with.
July 9, 2014