Jodorowsky's Dune

Jodorowsky's Dune ★★★½

If this documentary has a major flaw it's that it frames Jodorowsky's DUNE as something that could have been made by anyone, ever. It's the Spruce Goose of movies, so bloated and madly ambitious in its design that it never could have taken flight no matter how passionate or talented those involved in its creation were. If it has minor flaws, they have proper names, and their inclusion as interviewees and the value of their contributions to the narrative are both questionable. Quibbles aside, the story is still a great one, and it's well told by those actually involved in the production process. I'm a sucker for team-building stories from SEVEN SAMURAI to THE ELIMINATORS to OCEAN'S 11, and this is one helluva madcap sci-fi pop art surrealist team building yarn. That it's gussied up with screen-sized renderings of Moebius and Giger illustrations under a spacey analog synth score is icing on the cake. At the center of it all is Jodorowsky himself, a brightly burning octogenarian sun around which all of these fantastic ideas, myths, and stories orbit. Forty years on, he trembles with passion while discussing what may be the greatest failure in his life. That is, unless he had gotten the movie into production, in which case we can only assume things could have been worse for him. Look at the DUNE that did get made for reference.

addendum: I'm reading a lot of negative reviews that cast shade on Jodorowksy, calling him full of shit and an ego maniac and things like this. I don't think it's appropriate or necessary to question his sincerity or his commitment to his ideas about enlightenment and mysticism. He's been devoted to his ideas four times longer than most users of this site have been alive, and the movies he has completed speak to a consistency of personal vision. It may read as kooky bullshit to most (me included, some of the time), but there's no way he's faking it. Prophet planets spreading enlightenment through the galaxy and movies expanding the consciousness of viewers: That's him, man.

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