"JODOROWKSY'S DUNE" #6 TOP INDIE FILM 2014

2/12/15
Jodorowsky's Dune

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

It is perhaps one of the most influential films that was never made. The fount of all knowledge as far as sci-fi movies are concerned. Yeah, I said it, sorry Star Wars or Star Trek fans, but if there’s any consolation, your films got made and launched very prolific franchises but ‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’ is still in a limbo some forty years later; only to be realized and reanimated in a documentary.

From the outside looking in, “Jodorowsky's Dune,” a documentary directed by first-timer Frank Pavich, might be Hollywood’s biggest squandered opportunity but if you watch really closely, you’ll know that it might be quite the opposite. Quite, because the whole illumination of a great movie that will never be is fueled by anecdotal recounting of events from insiders and fans of the man behind this mind bending project, psychedelic surrealist Chilean director Alexandro Jodorowsky.

 

JODOROWKSY'S DUNE - TRAILER

But that’s not really a bad thing because who can better exhume a buried storyline than those people in the know? And who can better bring an epic tale back to life than the visionary director himself? I tell you, his passion for the project hasn’t waned after all these years. And the way he described the creative process behind it, what it might’ve been and what it means today after the fact is--in every sense of the word--infectious.

The idea behind creating this film, an adaptation of Frank Herbertí’s bestselling book of the same title, was to “give LSD hallucinations—without taking LSD.” A very noble aspiration if you ask me and whether or not it succeeded minus the film is immaterial. What’s important is that the undertaking alone was responsible for laying down the foundation of how singular, surrealistic filmmaking should be made. At the time of its pre-production status, Jodorowsky has gotten eccentric influential stars like Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger, David Carradine, Orson Welles and Pink Floyd (for the musical score) among others on board. It was supposed to star his son Brontis and boasted a creative team that featured the who’s who in the film industry-- H.R. Giger and Jean "Moebius" Giraud who later went on to create classic sci-fi films like “Alien.”

 

JODOROWSKY'S DUNE - BEST SCENE

Can you imagine how mind-blowing it would’ve been if the film went past the pre-production stage? Not only that, the documentary showed its incredibly detailed storyboard and that alone was very impressive and revealing. There were even images in it that resembled some iconic scenes from movies that were released long after it was put on the back burner. The “Star Wars” films come to mind. Is it coincidental or deliberate? I guess we’ll never know.

“Jodorowsky’s Dune” for all intents and purposes is a fascinating documentary. It reveals that just like any industry, Hollywood, regardless of how progressive it claims to be, is very risk averse and still relies heavily on formula. It also shows that a revolutionary idea can only become a failure if and when the creator stops believing in it. ‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’ is immortal because Jodorowsky is a perpetually passionate madman. Just because you haven’t seen it in the silver screen doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

 

Synopsis
The year was 1975. Fresh from the success of his films EL TOPO and THE HOLY MOUNTAIN, Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky has embarked on his most ambitious film project to date; the movie adaptation of Frank Herbertí’s bestselling sci-fi book entitled ‘Dune’. The film was to feature some of the most controversial talents of the era such as Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger, David Carradine, Orson Welles, Pink Floyd H.R. Giger and Jean "Moebius" Giraud among others. It was supposed to be the greatest achievement in filmmaking history. But it wasn’t meant to be. The film was unceremoniously cancelled and now, almost 40 years later, the madman behind the most influential film that was never made, along with some of his surviving cohorts and ardent fans, is telling his side of the story through a candid documentary. Directed by Frank Pavich, ‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’ takes you to a psychedelic trip back to memory lane and when all is said and done, that was and still is the film’s highest aspiration.