Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013)


The highlight of “Jodorowsky’s Dune” is the sheer enthusiasm of Alejandro Jodorowsky who viewed his acquisition of Frank Herbert’s Dune as less of a film project and more as a life changing event. He is very excited and joyous whenever he discusses how he wanted to change the world, and even insisted on changing the cast he recruited for his adaptation. He refers to his cast and crew as “spiritual warriors,” and is never afraid to admit that he was intent on giving audiences something to take away beyond a mere science fiction space opera. He wanted to build a world, and he was willing to do whatever he could to achieve what he considered a master mold of cinema. He’s a very likable and charming personality who more or less became a burden on his “spiritual warriors,” managing to travel the world in search of the perfect crew to bring his vision to life.

Among them were Salvador Dali, Pink Floyd, Moebius, HR Giger, and Mick Jagger, only to name a few. It’s quite an impressive undertaking that Jodorowsky is never afraid to brag about, and he elicits some truly entertaining anecdotes about the development process, and how his confrontations with his dream cast (or “spiritual warriors”) seemed almost like fate playing a role. This includes his search for famed artist Moebius which ended in Jodorowsky accidentally running in to him, and his chance meeting with Orson Welles, offering him a bottle of his favorite wine and the service of his favorite chef for a key role in “Dune.” Whether or not you like what Jodorowsky had in store for science fiction fans, “Jodorowsky’s Dune” should serve as a remarkable tool for aspiring filmmakers that are eager to understand the trials and tribulations of developing a film in any era, and how Hollywood can take creativity and crush it in to nothing.

There are many segments where Jodorowsky’s storyboards are animated for the screen, and we’re given a very vivid idea of what he’d intended. It’s a fantastic display of ambition and creativity, especially when you consider how unbelievable his planned opening sequences travailing the universe may just have been in an age where special effects were still in their infancy. Jodorowsky’s ideas for “Dune” are still very much ahead of their time, and work well as templates for artists intent on completely altering the face of a medium, which Jodorowksy has always set out to do from the very start. It’s a shame we never had a chance to see what he had in store for audiences everywhere, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bask in the madness of his concepts and development process that make “Jodorowsky’s Dune” such a fantastic documentary.