By the end of this documentary you’ll be convinced you’ve just seen the making of the greatest film never made. However, Jodorowsky’s Dune isn’t a tale of Hollywood studio conglomerates failing to see potential in a game-changing project, but the document of great ambition and imagination striking way ahead of its time.
As someone points out in the film itself (I forget who, perhaps Faraci?) there’s no way in hell Jodorowsky’s vision for Dunecould have been made in the way he imagined it back when he was trying to get it greenlit. It’s a technological impossibility. This was before Star Wars and nothing in that film comes close to the scale and psychedelia Jodo aspired to here. The crack team of artists he assembled reads on paper like a surrealistic 60s sci-fi supergroup – HR Giger, Moebius, Dan O’Bannon, Chris Foss, Pink Floyd, Salvador Dali, Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, the list goes on and on. It’s easy to see why they would all jump on board Jodorowsky’s crazy train, even in an interview setting he is an extremely magnetic, fascinating and hypnotic presence. Wild eyed and passionate but also spiritual and seemingly kind-hearted. He’s like Captain Beefhart meets Professor X. There have been enough dark stories about Jodorowsky’s methods to suggest a darker, challenging side but it all seems to be in the pursuit of great art, for better or worse. Also there’s a bit where his cat crashes an interview and the film stops to savour the moment before Jorodowsky continues with the cat in his arms as if nothing has happened. Amazing.
While you’ll constantly bemoan the fact Jorodorwsky’s Dune doesn’t actually exist, the film’s collage of production designs, storyboards, animatics and script excerpts has pushed the film out of the purgatory-esque imaginations of the few who failed to bring it to life into the transcendent imaginations of the millions of people who never got chance to see it. Anyone who watches Jodorowsky’s Dune will visualise their own Jodorowsky Dune in their mind and understand, just as Jodorowsky and his team did, that this would have been one hell of a fucking movie.