JODOROWSKY'S DUNE (2014) Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michael Seydoux, H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, Brontis Jodorowsky, Richard Stanley, Gary Kurtz, Nicolas Winding Refn. Directed by Frank Pavich
Anyone who is familiar with Chilean film director Alejandro Jodorowsky will recognize the fact that he is one of the most innovative and idiosyncratic artists of our time. His films "El Topo (1970)" and "The Holy Mountain (1973) are considered avant-garde cult classics, so when French producer Michael Seydoux approached Jodorowsky in 1974 with the proposition to fund his next feature, Jodorowsky chose Frank Herbert's sci-fi masterpiece "Dune." His vision has now joined the ranks of "greatest films never made" which include Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon, and Ken Russell's Dracula, among others.
Director Frank Pavich follows around vibrant 84 year old Jodorowsky who takes us through his version of Dune using storyboards that were created for the film by French artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud, esteemed by Federico Fellini, Stan Lee, and Hayao Miyazaki, his illustrations were brought to life in films from Blade Runner to Star Wars. In fact, Jodorowsky surrounded himself with amazing artists or "warriors" as he called them to help bring his vision to life.
Dan O'Bannon (Dark Star, Alien, Lifeforce, Total Recall) wrote the script, Swiss artist H.R. Giger was hired to design the film's look, he went on to design the Alien from Ridley Scott's 1979 film and it's sequels and he created Sil and the Ghost Train sequence for Species. Of course every great sci-fi film has to have a memorable score but Jodorowsky didn't approach John Williams, instead he hired one of the world's greatest rock bands, Pink Floyd.
The diverse cast included Orson Welles, David Carradine, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, Udo Kier, and his own son Brontis who trained in martial arts for two years to play the lead role of Paul Atreides.
It could have been the greatest science fiction film ever made but Jodorowsky frightened the studios with his eccentric behavior, rising budget, and 14 hour running time, so at the last minute the project was shelved and in 1984 director David Lynch released his lackluster version of the film which opened to mostly negative reviews.
This is a fascinating film with a unique behind the scenes look of Jodorowsky's dream to "change the world with this film." The possibilities.
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