Watching the documentary on Jodorowsky’s Dune is slightly different from most movies of this kind. They normally send you back to the original, giving it another look with a bit more perspective. The problem here is that there is no film to look back on. Dune was cancelled before it hit the big screen, but you would not know it to listen to everyone involved – the emotions are still raw and there is almost a preacher style fever in everyone here, like Dune would have been MORE than just another space movie.
With his early cult hit El Topo, Jodorowsky claimed “Art is to be free” and he was right there on the screen screaming “I AM GOD!!!”. His work was surreal and different, refusing to play by the rules of normal film making. Dune was the next step, just look at the people involved – Dali, Welles, Moebius, Giger, what a wonderful collection of visionaries. Illustrator Chris Foss is one of the names that I did not know, but his paintings are quite wonderful and fill the mind with imagination just sitting there on the screen, just what it would be like to see these ships flying through space we will never know, although the work here has influenced every genre film since and so the whole film has not died, just the literal finished product.
Jodorowsky is a great story teller, an absolute joy to listen to. His tales seem far fetched, as does everything about the project. When he first discovers Moebius (“Remember, no Internet to find people!”), he decides to search for him, but merely runs into him at his agents. Amazing.
The film stays away from the normal talking heads that you might be expecting and I found myself cheering at the inclusion of Nicholas Winding Reyn, Richard Stanley and Drew McWeeny, heroes one and all.
Jodorowsky’s Dune is an excellent vision of lost tales, although there is no sadness at the end, Jodorowsky is happy to tell the tale of going to see Lynch’s Dune and feeling super happy that he felt it failed. You imagine that as long as the director is on this planet, he will be telling more tales of the spice planet to anyone lucky enough to be within earshot.