Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Sci-Fi September: Jodorowsky's Dune (2014)

Alejandro Jodorowsky's movie adaptation of Dune is a gorgeous film, full of big names, big ideas, and some of the best visuals that you've ever seen in cinema. It is also unmade, more's the pity. But that hasn't stopped it from being hugely influential, and almost mythic in status, as is shown in this documentary, directed by Frank Pavich.

Focusing on Jodorowsky himself, naturally, this fascinating feature also gains input from Nicolas Winding Refn, Richard Stanley, Michel Seydoux, H. R. Giger, Dan O'Bannon and many others, either in talking head format or thanks to snippets taken from archive material. Some people are discussing their own view on the movie that never was, while many discuss how the pieces were put in place to get the creative talent involved that Jodorowsky felt he needed for his vision.

As bittersweet an experience as any film fan could have, Jodorowsky's Dune is partially about a great movie that studios were too wary of dealing with, partially about the impact it made on the sci-fi genre, despite never being completed, and partially about Jodorowsky's enduring passion for stories and art. Whether he's describing the way in which he wanted every main planet to be scored by a different band, discussing a meeting with Salvador Dali, or showing the book, full of storyboards and designs, that was created to show how the film would be made, he's a man who doesn't seem to have been brought low by the whole experience. There's regret there, of course, but there's also a deserved love of all that stemmed from this one project.

Using the aforementioned book of storyboards and designs, this doc really brings Jodorowsky's vision to life in a way that also highlights the hard work and skill brought to the table by all of the major talent assembled by the director; H. R. Giger, Moebius and Chris Foss being the main artists.

Even if you don't think you're that interested in an unmade version of Dune, even if you're unfamiliar with Jodorowsky (although you SHOULD be), then I still recommend this to all lovers of film. Hearing the man talk of how he wooed Orson Welles, hearing of the training that he put his son (Brontis Jodorowsky) through, and hearing his love for art and artists in almost everything he says makes this a worthwhile viewing. In fact, it's worthwhile simply to hear him say: "I was raping Frank Herbert! But with love.”

And, for anyone still doubting the legacy of this unmade movie by the time the documentary is almost finished, there's a selection of clips from major blockbusters, showing a clear timeline from this one "failure" to a huge number of cinematic successes throughout the years. Help celebrate that fact by allowing this title to share shelf space with the other movies that owe it so much.


Feel free to check out the main website for the film here - http://jodorowskysdune.com/index.html


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