Saturday, November 8, 2014

Jodorowsky's Dune - Review

Cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky (EL TOPO, THE HOLY MOUNTAIN) and several other figures recount the two-year journey they all came together on during the 70's, in order to craft and pitch a trippy adaptation of the Frank Hebert sci-fi classic. The biggest issue I have with this film is that despite the amazing premise, director Frank Pavich largely filmed and edited the film to be more like a DVD special feature. There are ill-fitting fade-ins and outs and cuts amid interviews that just severely injure the flow. However, I still found this nerd-friendly doc to be both a delectable exploration of a nearly-green-lit movie project and a fun yet dark look at an 85 year old auteur who's still brimming with creative and outlandish energy. I don't know what was better, Jodorowsky's extravagant, Baron Münchhausen-like stories of how he found his dream cast and crew (Orson Welles, H.R. Giger, Pink Floyd, Salvador Dalí, etc.) or the long animatics developed from the thousands of storyboards generated by the director and Mœbius. The film also educates to the uninitiated that even though the film was never made, its ingredients would later be sprinkled into other works and help craft and/or inspire some of the best movies ever made. And yes, they do briefly discuss the infamous David Lynch adaptation. It fudges and forgets some crucial facts, such as how Dalí was asked to leave after making some pro-Franco remarks, and it does feel like a 90-minute commercial for an amazing pre-production book that no one can get their hands on but JODOROWSKY'S DUNE is a worthy mind-trip and a cold lesson on how some dreams die.


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