Thursday, 6 August 2015

Jodorowsky’s Dune: What … If … ?

6th August, 2015.

You know, it has to be said, I like a film, now and again.

You’d possibly guessed that, hadn’t you?

What you possibly may know know?   Is that there’s a few books I tend to keep around.

I have done for years.

Terry Pratchett’s a favourite: with his death … ?

With his death, literature’s a poorer thing, I think.

William Gibson … ?   Got a few of his books, too: the seminal Neuromancer has been lurking on my shelves, whenever I’ve been able to have a copy.

Julian May … ?   Storm Constantine?   Debbi Mack?


J. R. R. Tolkien?   He’s on the shelves, somewhere.

I could possibly do with more Neil Gaiman.   Oh, and H. G. Wells.

And possibly some Dickens, as well, just so people can’t accuse me of being a total philistine.   Although, frankly, there were never enough laser guns in A Christmas Carol, if you want my humble opinion.

You possibly don’t.   And since when has anyone ever had a humble opinion?

At ANY rate … ?

You’ve possibly also worked something else.

That I’d also have a copy of Frank Herbert’s Dune sitting on my shelves.

That I’d love it … Love it and be interested in seeing any given film or TV adaptation doing the rounds.

You’d be right about that.


And yes, you’d be right in assuming I’d read the original book: and Herbert’s own sequels.

And some of the prequels Frank’s son, Brian Herbert, co-wrote with Kevin J. Anderson.

Although, to be honest with you, I was never exactly enamoured of the prequels.

I don’t know that Brian and Kevin quite matched Frank’s skill: but that’s just my opinion.

At ANY rate … ?

At any rate, you’d ALSO be right in assuming I’ve seen the David Lynch version … which was something of a beautiful, but flawed, masterpieces: not quite matching the novel.

At least to my way of thinking.

And, yes … 

I’ve ALSO seen Frank Herbert’s Dune: the three part mini-series, released at the turn of the century, with Alec Newman, William Hurt and Ian McNiece.

Genius casting, some of that: especially in hiring McNiece as Vladimir Harkonnen.

I’d ALSO known of maverick surrealist director, Alejandro Jodorowsky.

Or, at least, of his attempted version, back in the mid-1970s, even if I hadn’t seen anything of his work.

You can practically guarantee I’d be curious about a documentary about it … couldn’t you … ?

You’d be right … 


Released in 2013, and directed by Frank Pavich, Jodorowsky’s Dune is a fairly vanilla re-telling of events.   Giving us a fairly straight version of events from the viewpoint of Jodorowsky, himself.

Starting with coverage of his earlier film: up until the point, in the early 1970s, where he secures the film rights to Dune.

Then gets to work on a story-board with Jean ‘Mœbius’ Giraud.

The pair do the rounds: recruiting artists Chris Foss and H. R. Giger to work on design aspects, Pink Floyd and Magma for the score, and Mick Jagger, Orson Wells, Salvador Dali and Jodorowsky’s son, Brontis, in some of the key roles.

Ultimately … ?

Ultimately, the film fails to get of the ground: mostly where Hollywood studios decide The projects looks a little too expensive and way out for their tastes.

But ultimately … ?

Ultimately paving the way for other films to build on what Jodorowsky had started: something he and the various talking heads in the film note.


Ultimately, though … ?

Did I enjoy this?

I really do have to say, yes: I did.

Although, frankly … ?

I’m ALSO very aware that, as well made as the documentary is, I’m very aware that it’s going to only appeal to those of us who take an interesting in film history: or in Herbert’s novel.


I’m glad to have seen it.

But — however many liberties Jodorowsky took with the script — I think I’d’ve preferred to see his completed version of Dune.

Rather than just the documentary.

But, in the words of Gurney Halleck, one of the books key supporting characters?
“If wishes were fishes, we’d all cast nets.”
Gurney Halleck, Dune by Frank Herbert.
Jodorowsky’s Dune


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