Jodorowsky’s Dune – 2013 – What if this project?
Of course, I am never first when it comes to writing about overwhelming movies. I’m not the first to watch Jodorowsky’s Dune and be amazed by the enormous project either, far from it. But I watch quite a few documentaries these days and often enjoy them thoroughly. In fact, I once was more interested in horror movies but I think that interest is overshadowed by documentaries these days. I prefer subjects that are in the fantastic and/or mysterious realm. Lots of mythology and conspiracy theories.
Jodorowsky’s Dune is not that kind of documentary though. It’s about something fantastic to be sure. a giant project that Alejandro Jodorowsky once were undertaking. I have actually only seen a couple of movies by this legendary auteur but absolutely adored them. They are as visually stunning as they are strange and surrealistic. One of my favorite movies is still The Holy Mountain. Some might hold El Topo or even Santa Sangre as better but not for me. The Holy Mountain is the definitive masterpiece in my book.
If it were made?
But what would have happened if Jodorowsky’s Dune had been made reality? This documentary goes in-depth on Jodorowski’s ideas about how to tell the story. Let us just say that he had very a very special vision. And I believe that is also why it was never made a reality. It was really impossible to make. It might not have been too expensive or anything like that. And he might have had all the key personnel in place. Salvador Dali was to play a part if he would be the most expensive actor in history, H.R. Giger was going to be involved as an artist and there should be music by Pink Floyd accompanying one of the houses in the movie. I can’t remember which right now though.
There were more artists and musicians to be involved of course. And Dan O’Bannon as well. I think this would have been a great movie. Probably not easy to comprehend, but a great movie. As far as I understand what ultimately doomed it was that Jodorowski couldn’t compromise about the length of the movie. He refused to make a 90-minute film. In the documentary, he talks about several hours, ten or more. I don’t know if he’s exaggerating for the sake of it but I get the impression that it was going to make his way or the highway. So, ultimately it never got made.
Someone “saw” it!
Nicolas Winding Refn claims in the first few minutes that he is the only one who ever “saw” Jodorowsky’s Dune. He describes having dinner with Jodorowsky and suddenly the topic goes to this legendary movie. Furthermore, Jodorowsky apparently talked through every scene in the movie. His thoughts on how it was going to be made had Nicolas Winding Refn “see” it. And he also states that it’s a fantastic movie. I believe him!
I learned from Jodorowsky’s Dune that Alejandro Jodorowsky actually had made more movies than I was aware of. So this was a mind-opener for me. I need to find all those movies I missed and watch them. They’re bound to be very interesting. I also learned that he was very happy to see that David Lynch’s take on Dune was a failure. I, for one actually like his version of it. But of course, if you can imagine Jodorowsky’s version of it, Maybe David Lynch’s version is pretty inferior.