In my opinion, there are very few filmmakers who are artists, and even fewer who are visionaries. Chile’s Alejandro Jodorowsky is both, a man who is uncompromising in his work, and truly one of a kind. This past weekend I sat down with the 2013 documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, it isn’t just a story about someone trying to make a film, it’s the story of someone trying to change the world.
If you say the word ‘Dune’ to an average movie goer, it might conjure up thoughts of David Lynch’s fabulous disaster, as well as Toto’s infamous soundtrack. Before Lynch, and before George Lucas’ massive space opera Star Wars, Jodorowsky would sew the seeds for several science fiction films to come. His passion to make such a film on a tremendous scale is comparable to that of Werner Herzog. Coincidentally, this is probably one of the best documentaries about filmmaking to come out since Burden Of Dreams.
Jodorowsky assembled some of the greatest talents and minds available at the time, including artist H.R. Geiger. He set out to complete a product that would combine the depth of Orson Welles, and the psychology of Federico Fellini. He had already proved his talent for such endeavors with his previous works, El Topo and The Holy Mountain. His attention to details such as camera movement, costume, dialogue and set design were nothing short of remarkable.
Fate however would deal a cruel hand. The tragedy of this feature? The film itself was never made. The blood,sweat, and tears that would go into pre-production were all in vain. In a case of Hollywood being accountants more than storytellers, they refused to back or finance Jodorowsky’s epic vision. It leaves us with the thought of what might have been, but would never be. In a strange irony, the sketches from the original ideas for this feature made their way around tinsel town, and would go in to inspire films such as Alien and Flash Gordon, as well as several others in between.
Although not given it’s proper credit until recently, the ideas from this project could possibly go down in history as one of the most influential of all time.