Jodorowsky's Dune is a 2013 documentary directed by Frank Pavich. Subject of the movie is a visionary director and his failed attempt to adapt a masterpiece science fiction novel on screen. It tries to state that if the movie was released according to the vision of that director, it would have totally changed the way movies are made thereafter.
Alexandro Jodorowsky is a Chilean surrealist movie maker of such underground classics like El Topo and The Holy Mountain. When his producer felt that it's time for the talented Jodorowsky to make his mark in Hollywood, he offered to produce a movie based on any of the book that Jodorowsky chose. Jodorowsky decided to adapt Dune, Frank Herbert's classic science fiction novel. He had never read the novel and the decision was made on the sole basis of a friend's recommendation.
The movie explains in detail how Jodorowsky went on painstakingly to assemble his team, as per him, his spiritual warriors. For him this wasn't meant to be an ordinary movie. He wanted to make a movie that gave viewers the effect of mind altering drugs without consuming them. He selected talented persons- illustrators, designers, musicians, technicians and actors who he felt were upto the task. In the movie Jodorowsky shares some interesting anecdotes with giants like Salvador Dali, Orson Welles and the music band Pink Floyd and how he convinced them to work for him.
Jodorowsky had a clear idea how his version of Dune had to look, feel and sound. Along with his team of designers and illustrators, he made a giant document that elaborated his story, script, characters, filming techniques. He send a copy to every major Hollywood studios. Everybody rejected it. They thought it too risky a game to spend a fortune on a bizarre movie by a director who made movies that lies out of the comfort zone of average viewer. They were interested in the movie but were afraid of the director. Dune was later adapted by David Lynch as a faithful, within the boundary movie, but failed to impress critics or viewers.
Jodorowsky's Dune tries to find out how the document made by Jodorowsky was influential in the look of later movies and how the technicians and others introduced by him changed the course of movie making history. It also makes the case that his version of Dune was a missed opportunity that could change the whole concept of mainstream movie making. Some of the scenes are recreated by animation using the drawings from the book which makes for compelling viewing.
The movie consists mainly of interviews with Jodorowsky and many members of his team, movie critics and some directors influenced by him. Initially Jodorowsky seemed a weirdo, but gradually his passion, commitment, honesty and sense of humor won me over. If you are a person who wonder how movies are made, you will like Jodorowsky's Dune, but if you are the person who wonder why movies are made, this is the movie that's meant for you.