The greatest movie that was never made. That tagline caught my curiousity to check out this wonderful movie documentary. Actually I didn’t expect that this documentary gave me more yearning to look forward watching Alejandro Jodorowsky’s films soon.
First of all, who the hell is Alejandro Jodorowsky? A peruvian director who made theater plays mostly in Mexico which lead him making films. His first film was fando y lis which he was end up banned in Mexico. The reason? He disregarded the director’s union and made people mad by watching the film. But that doesn’t stop making films. He made a cult classic El Topo, a spaghetti mystical western story. Due to the success of that film, he got a million dollars to do his next feature Holy Mountain which about a thief took a journey to holistic transformation. He became sucessful again and this where his story of Dune comes in..
Dune was regarded as one of the best sci fi books made which until now I haven’t read or even look at that book. But at that tine in 1970’s, it was the best seller. Jodorowsky has also no idea what the book is as it was only suggested by a friend. First I love how Jodorowsky detailed the process of how he imagined or created the feel of the film. Despite the book itself was hard to swallow, he just made a way to make it understandable with his touch of madness. I loved how he recruited what he called spiritual warriors.. His artist was Giraud, one of the best French comic book artist. That dude is one of a hell artist as he can draw everything in detail. VFX supervisor Dan O’Bannon who kinda surprised he was picked despite only the second choice. Alejandro doesn’t feel Doug Trumbull, the SFX dude of my fave film 2001 because he was described very technical and full of himself. Jodorowsky was also able to assemble a very intersting cast. Despite no known actress but his set of actors are damn legendary, from David Carradine, Jodorowsky’s son as usual, Mick Jagger, Orson Welles and even Salvador Dali. I love the footage of Dali, indeed enigmatic. Don’t forget Pink Floyd and another rock band for its musical score and OST. How about the other illustrators/artist included in this movie project. It shows how ambitious this one was.
Another thing I love was the inputs of the men and women behind this project. From critics, even the producers of the film and people who joined the project seemed very influenced how Alejandro motivated them to be artist than a worker who has a deadline. Lastly, with all these factors going thru the course of the film, I was convinced that this might have been the best scifi or even of the best films ever made. The year was 1973 and on how this was made, it was indeed ahead of its time. Despite with some violent and gore effect, the concept is somewhat scifi and religion in one film. Star Wars or even blade runner was not made yet. 2001 was made but it was not box office hit until it was released in home video.
3 factors that made me sad after watching the documentary. It’s not really the films fault. First the behavior of the big movie studios today of making films is still the same. More emphasis on profit than art. The film as the producer calculated can be done if the studios provided just added 5 million dollars for the budget but still they declined due to the nature of the film and risks involve. Geez they were damn wrong. They didn’t even gave a second look to this film. Second, the film was indeed made by David Lynch but it was terrible that even Lynch doesn’t want to talk about it or even claimed its a mistake he made. This was connected to the first one as the producers thought they’ll earn but without the right people or mindset, it was an epic fail. Lastly, I won’t blame if less will watch this because of less people or only movie fanatics knows Jodorowsky. As much this is well done and promoted, Jodorowsky’s films made really not for the general public. It’s bizarre and mystical as I saw some scenes in his films.
Amidst of failure well, all the people worked in this doomed project moved on and better yet achieved success. Somewhat used the ideas in this film to other ones. Great example was alien, the design of Alien came from a design of one of the castle in this film. They also won Oscars in other projects. The manuscript or even design of Dune was kinda used in most films until today, as you see in montage at the end. I suggest that since Nicolas Winding Refn was the one saw and heard what this project should been, he’s the one could do it.
Jodorowsky already moved on and now legendary. But you can see in this film his undying passion to still create his project. Even he admits he might not see the light or have this project done in his lifetime, he still encourages anyone to create this..
I wonder what would happen if this film was made indeed before Star Wars and other films? Will this alter what we view in a sci fi film? or How films should be made?