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Jodorowsky’s Dune is a documentary about the making an epic sci-fi film which never got made, but nevertheless influenced Hollywood big budget filmmaking for a generation.
In 1975, after making El Topo and The Holy — two films that became tentpoles in the 1970s midnight movie craze — Chilean-born director Alejandro Jodorowsky announced he’d adapt Frank Herbert’s sci-fi tome Dune, a book Jodorowsky admits in the trailer he’d never read. Jodorowsky’s midnight audiences were notorious for being high, but with Dune the director set out to make a film that fabricated the effects of LSD for a sober audience, complete with a soundtrack by Pink Floyd.
One of the more entertaining parts of the trailer is Jodorowsky’s gathering of his band of “spiritual warriors” to star in the film, including Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger, and Orson Welles, who Jodorowsky convinced to sign on by hiring the chef from the rotund actor-director’s favorite restaurant. The real stars of the documentary, though, are Jodorowsky and his behind-the-camera collaborators,who spent two years planning the movie.
As the trailer emphasizes, director Frank Pavich’s (N.Y.H.C. and DIE MOMMIE DIE!) doc isn’t simply another tale of an overly ambitious film that fell apart in epic fashion, but argues the movie’s visual design was so fully realized in pre-production that it influenced a generation of Hollywood’s big budget sci-fi filmmaking (Blade Runner and Aliens, for example) and uses French artist Moebius’ countless drawings to bring Jodorowsky’s unproduced creation to life.
The film premiered, alongside Jodorowsky’s latest film The Dance of Reality, as part the Directors Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival, where it received positive reviews from critics.
Jodorowsky’s Dune was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics, who will put it into limited release on March 21 with an advertising campaign aimed at making the doc a must-see for movie and sci-fi buffs.
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