Jodorowsky’s Dune

If you were to believe Alejandro Jodorowsky his film version of Frank Herbert’s Dune is the most influential film ever made. Problem is: it was never made. Director Frank Pavich documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune tries to make us into ‘believers’. In 1974 science fiction films were not getting the big budgets it got after Star wars (1977) was released and became a box-office phenomenon. Chilean-French director Alejandro Jodorowsky was at the time a favorite of midnight-movies audiences. With his two cult films El Topo and The Holy Mountain, he claims to have wanted to recreate the LSD experience. The idea for Dune came when a friend brought it up. But he never read it. Still he wanted to do it, bigger and better than 2001: A space odyssey. He went to meet 2001‘s guru Douglas Trumbull, but Trumbull refused.. After that Jodorowsky got several people on board to contribute to his vision. He calls them his ‘spiritual warriors’. The film was entirely storyboarded by French illustrator Jean Giraud. Some of the storyboard come to life with animation by director Pavich (accompanied by one of the cheesiest score. The composer is Kurt Stenzel).  According to Frank Herbert the screenplay “was the size of a phonebook”. For the special effects Dan O’Bannon (Alien) was hired. The score would have been composed by Pink Floyd and as actors Jodorowsky wanted Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, Jodorowsky himself and his 12 year-old son. Oh! and one small detail. It would have been 14 hours long. The project was turned downed by Hollywood studios. In 1984, when Herbert’s epic novel was adapted to film by David Lynch, it was a box-office disappointment. What Jodorowsky’s Dune argues is that even if it was never actually produced, it has influenced every sci-fi films ever since. The storyboard book that Giraud made was being passed around the studios, and there is a slight chance of having had some impact. Sci-fi comic books, illustrations and posters are more likely to have had more influence. But Jodorowsky is a passionate artist worth your time if you are a love of science fiction films.

 Rémi-Serge Gratton


 Jodorowsky’s Dune


Directed by: 
Frank Pavich
90 min.
Rated Parental Guidance

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