Out there in the cosmos, nestled between fact and fiction, there is a parallel universe where all the films you heard about that never made it to post-production live rich fulfilling lives. Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote, Tim Burton’s Superman, Peter Seller’s The Alien. They’re all there. And chief amongst them would be Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune. But we don’t live in that parallel universe, we live in someone else’s where Transformers is allowed to have three sequels and a Britain’s Got Talent finalist has their own film… This is indeed the darkest timeline.
So, hallelujah, for Frank Pavich’s documentary, Jodorowsky’s Dune; a 90 minute rundown of the passion and energy Jodorowsky put into realizing Frank Herbert’s seminal novel, Dune. The documentary is largely a series of talking heads, with Jodorowsky obviously taking center stage. The 80 something director is on fine form as he talks about adapting a novel that he’d never read with the likes of HR Giger, Chris Foss and Pink Floyd.
Director Nicolas Winding Refn early on in the documentary, talks about Jodorowsky taking him through the story of his vision, using one of the last remaining copies of his storyboards. Refn admits that the adaptation would have been ‘awesome’ and that’s what makes the documentary a little infuriating. In a good way. It offers us peeks of animated storyboards and costumes designs, but it never feels like enough. Cracking open Jodorowsky’s imagination, the spiders of ideas that come running out are innumerable. With everything going on, we wish the film could stay longer than we’re allowed to. What we’re trying to say is, we’re jealous. Like the director of Drive, we want to see it all.
Jodorowsky suggests that maybe one day, someone will adapt his work into an animated film. Maybe they will, but for now we’ll have to settle with this fascinating look at the creative process in all its mind bending glory.