“Jodorowsky’s Dune” a Thrilling Documentary of the Movie That Never Was

Jodorowskys-Dune-Movie-PosterFor any creative person who has felt for a moment that they have impulses their contemporaries just don’t understand, there’s a spectacular new movie for you. Frank Pavich’s documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune (A) chronicles the extraordinary tale of a cult filmmaker (Alejandro Jodorowsky) who decides to follow up his underground sensations El Topo and Holy Mountain with an ambitious adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi bestseller in the mid-1970’s, and his vision is in nearly every way clearly before its time. Like a filmmaking Dorothy Gale, he rounds up talent ranging from Salvador Dali to H.R. Giger to David Carradine, Mick Jagger and Pink Floyd for a consciousness-awakening opus that was alas never to manifest. Through the ebullient storytelling of the dreamer at the heart of the story and his collaborators’ marvelous artwork brought to life, this film gives a sample of the visionary work that could have been. In chronicling the director’s failure, the movie shows the power of unlocking doors to the imagination, being true to your spirit and heeding the inner voices of creation. There have been movies made about the struggle of making movies that did and didn’t happen (Francis Ford Coppola and Terry Gilliam have been subjects), but this one was one of the best representations of conjuring the spirit of creativity and collaboration. It made me wish Jodorowsky’s outer space saga had been made, but the telling of this story – and its unintended effects on the template for the past 40 years of the global blockbuster action film – will bring the spice of life to anybody who savors wonder, surprise and inspiration at the movies.