The Radical Psychedelia of “Jodorowsky’s Dune”

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In sci-fi circles, it’s considered a classic. Why it’s not a core book in high school English baffles me. But Dune is probably one of the only modern stories, so intricate and meticulous, that filmmakers have never failed to satiate the ardent fan base. David Lynch’s version seemed to only please Frank Herbert himself, getting eviscerated in the editing booth. The Sci-Fi Channel miniseries in 2000 was remarkable for its visuals (in 2000… who knows what we’d do with modern CGI) yet loses itself in a subplot of woeful trajectory.

Thus comes Jodorowsky’s Dune, a film by Frank Pavich, about one of the (possibly) greatest movies never made. Alejandro Jodorowsky, a Chilean filmmaker / writer / mystic, is most well known for his cult-classics The Holy Mountain and El Topo, but also his amazing graphic novel The Incal. Given the very first chance to adapt Dune to film, Jodorowsky’s legendary imagination was unleashed onto Arrakis. With HR Giger doing stage design before Alien, Dali playing the Emperor, and David Carradine as Leto Atreides, this already sounds like the coolest movie I’ve never seen. In describing his vision Jodorowsky stated about the spice at the center of the story,

In my version, the spice is a blue drug with spongy consistency filled with a vegetable-animal life endowed with consciousness, the highest level of consciousness. It does not stop taking all kinds of forms, while stirring up unceasingly. The spice continuously produces the creation of the innumerable universes.

Just wow. The documentary comes out March 24th. This gonna be good.

Alec Rojas

February 21, 2014 / By

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