Saturday, March 2, 2024

Jodorowsky's Dune

I get it now.

Not a lot of people talk about Dune, barely anyone talks about the version that never was. In the early 1970s a director born in Chile had a revolutionary idea after making just two feature films to adapt Frank Herbert's Dune in a way that was deemed impossible by the zeitgeist's standards and this documentary created in 2013 filled the world in on this artistic endeavour. Now I heard slight rumblings of this version in the hype train for the 2021 Dune from a YouTube channel dubbed Grizzled Wizard and hearing about this project with the help of Pink Floyd, H.R. Giger, and the presence of Orson Welles himself my attention was grabbed! But I didn't even know this documentary existed on the HBO Max until about 3 days ago, and watching the formative process and happy accidents occur that got some steam in this now phantom train does make me understand why certain individuals hold this what could have been story with such tragedy. Granted I have no clue what in the blue skies of Arrakis this would have been like but the unmitigated passion and dedication this one man had to garner so many artistic and popular figures to make a science fiction film when at the time George Lucas was still scribbling drafts of a space opera in his bedroom and the prospect of any fantastical space movie being made was a pot dream, I can respect. He didn't want to make it faithful to the book, he didn't want to make it for profit's sake, he wanted to do it because he had a vision and a drive to see it done. It ain't everybody's batch of magic Kool-Aid and even my ass saw the unrealistic qualities of fashioning this monolith of a story, but the documentary is told with a lot of the burgeoning minds who were coming up with designs for this flick and they still believe they were onto something special here and hold pride in their work. And for a special clocking in at 90 minutes with credits, you really got nothing to lose if you want to see how even unmade art can still have an effect on the world. Do I agree with everything Jodorowsky said? No. Do I think the movie would have had a more troubled production than The Island Of Doctor Moreau with Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer? I'm willing to hedge my bets there! But at the end of the day even if it focuses on a shoulda woulda coulda idea, it's still fascinating to see a piece of cinematic history that has influenced a lot of movies even if itself wasn't burned on celluloid. I enjoyed it, found it interesting, and can indeed recommend. 3 stars, 7/10, and we got some down time before the next new movie so stay safe and have fun.

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