Examine 'Dune' that might have been
Way back in 1973, before “Star Wars” and “Alien” made science fiction into a moneymaking mainstream film genre, Mexican cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky set out to make a psychedelic adaptation of Frank Herbert's “Dune.” It's considered by many sci-fi geeks one of the greatest films never made. Now 83 and still energetic as a Roman candle, the filmmaker and raconteur describes the epic project's stratospheric goals. He wanted not just collaborators but “spiritual warriors” ready to give their all for his vision (not Herbert's — the irrepressible Jodorowsky launched his space odyssey without reading the book).
Employing a mix of lively talking-head interviews and trippy animation based on Jodorowsky's sketchbooks and storyboards, Frank Pavich's documentary paints a tantalizing picture of the movie that might have been.
Hot off the successes of his weird-beard midnight-movie hits “El Topo” and “The Holy Mountain,” Jodorowsky assembled a supergroup of true believers. The cast included Mick Jagger, Orson Welles as villainous Baron Harkonnen, and Salvador Dali as the emperor of the galaxy. The crew boasted Pink Floyd for music, Europe's greatest, strangest sci-fi artists for the visuals. “I was searching for the light of genius in every person,” says Jodorowsky.
Ultimately, the project failed to launch, and David Lynch released his own eerie, flawed version in 1984. Jodorowsky's unrealized “Dune” might have been a smash or a “Flash Gordon”-style misfire, but his war stories are never less than inspirational.
Colin Covert is a staff writer for McClatchy-Tribune News Service.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- DVD reviews: ‘Shaun the Sheep Movie,’ ‘No Escape’ and ‘American Ultra’
- Review: ‘McQueen’ takes a look under hood of a legend
- Review: ‘The Assassin’ is a visual knockout set in ancient China
- ‘Hunger Games’ director aims to please fans
- Holidays offer the gift of plenty of new films
- Review: ‘Wonders’ more about mood than the plot
- Former editor hopes ‘Spotlight’ gives newspapers a boost