FILM REVIEW: 'Jodorowsky's Dune'

 

FILM REVIEW: 'Jodorowsky's Dune'

 

Date: June 8, 2014
by: Pam Nadon | Contributing Columnist

 
 

"Jodorowsky's Dune" is not a particularly catchy title for a film. But prepare to be astounded as one of the most passionate filmmakers in the history of movie making tells a great story.

Genius (and/or madman) Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky's obsessive quest to make a film adaptation of Frank Herbert's "Dune" never came to fruition — but not for a lack of trying. In 1975, Jodorowsky ("El Topo") began pre production of his dream, putting his heart, soul and son (Brontis) into the ambitious endeavor. So enmeshed in the project, he declared, "If I need to cut my arms off in order to make the picture, I will cut my arms. I was even ready to die."

In the process, Jodorowsky was able to attract the most elusive and provocative people in the world to his grandiose undertaking. Salvador Dali, Orson Welles, Mick Jagger and David Carradine were nabbed to participate. The humorous anecdotes, which Jodorowsky relates in reference to his methodology in recruiting such talent, are wonderfully captivating.

French graphic novelist Moebius created a groundbreaking storyboard that was sent to Hollywood studios. The manuscript itself was a work of art including designs by H.R.Giger and Dan O'Bannon. But, alas, executives are not visionaries. They're bankers. And Jodorowsky's stubborn demands on length, budget and full realization of his vision killed the deal.

Director Frank Pavich's ("N.Y.H.C.") delightful documentary captures Jodorowsky's epic quest with the fervor of the artist himself. It's a riveting, insightful and beautiful film to watch. The smart move was to insert Jodorowsky into almost every frame. The guy has a knack for being an outstanding on-screen entertainer. His passion becomes contagious.

There's no prerequisite to have read "Dune" or have even the slightest interest in science fiction to love "Jodorowsky's Dune." Simply sit back, relax and take in the intoxicating, mind-blowing elixir that it is.

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