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Shot in France, England, Switzerland and the United States, this documentary covers director Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, Holy Mountain, Santa Sangre) and his 1974 Quixotic attempt to adapt the seminal sci-fi novel Dune into a feature film. After...
In some ways, having this documentary about what could have been is more profound than having the actual Dune itself (although you can't help but wonder what it would have been like…) To me, this was a story about how our imaginations can sometimes do a better job than the best technology.
It would have been so great if this film was actually realized, but it is entirely obvious why it was not. It isn't, as director Nicolas Winding Refn argues near the end of the film, that Jodorowsky's Dune was too "dangerous" or "frightening" for to accept–it's rather that it was not commercial enough to justify investment from major studios. In the end it seems much more obvious for a story like this to be released as a comic, as it (sort of) was in the Incal and Metabarons books. It's unfortunate but unsurprising that the entertainment industry is primarily a capitalist affair.
You have to laugh a bit about how seriously everybody took this project, but delusions of grandeur sometimes produce great art and you can really sense the passion that Jodorowsky and his collaborators had for it. It's fascinating to see the seeds sown across contemporary science fiction by those involved, especially O'Bannon and Jean Giraud (Moebius). But it's more fun to daydream about the direction science fiction cinema might have taken had Jodorowsky's crazy vision been completed.
I want to imagine a parallel universe where this actually got made and everyone there lives in a state of eternal bliss and contentment. There is no violence nor suffering and everyone exists harmoniously with nature and each other.
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