Jodorowsky’s Dune (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
July 5, 2014 by Dennis Amith
Frank Pavich’s “Jodorowsky’s Dune” is a magnificent documentary on possibly the greatest sci-fi film never made. Highly recommended!
© 2014 The City Film, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Jodorowsky’s Dune
FILM RELEASE: 2013
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 1:78:1, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English – Audio Description 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
COMPANY: Sony Pictures Classics
RATED: PG-13 (For some violent and sexual images)
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Directed by Frank Pavich
Produced by Frank Pabich, Stephen Scarlata, Travis Stevens
Executive Producer: Donald Rosenfeld
Co-Producer: Michel Seydoux
Associate Producer: Alex Ricciardi
Music by Kurt Stenzel
Cinematography by David Cavallo
Edited by Paul Docherty, Alex Ricciardi
Nicolas Winding Refn
In 1975, director Alejandro Jodorowsky began work on his most ambitious project yet. Starring his own 12-year-old son alongside Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, David Carradine and Salvador Dalí, featuring music by Pink Floyd and art by some of the most provocative talents of the era, including H.R. Giger and Jean “Moebius” Giraud, Jodorowsky’s adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel DUNE was poised to change cinema forever. Through interviews with legends and luminaries including H.R. Giger (artist, ALIEN), Gary Kurtz (producer, STAR WARS EPISODES IV ‘ V) and Nicolas Winding Refn (director, DRIVE), and an intimate and honest conversation with Jodorowsky, director Frank Pavich’s film finally unearths the full saga of ‘The Greatest Movie Never Made’.
Alejandro Jodorowsky is one of the welcomed named among cineaste, especially those who have appreciated his works of arts in his oeuvre such as “Fandy y Lis”, “El Topo” and “The Holy Mountain”.
Provocative, scandalous, creative and magnificent, there is no doubt that you will see many who are appreciative of Jodorowsky’s work and those who simply don’t get it.
But Jodorowsky was a man that people knew about because his acid western “El Topo” was the first midnight cult film and his surrealist creations would eventually become classics.
But for Alejandro Jodorowsky and many sci-fi films, there was one film of his that was important in helping pave the ways for many of the sci-fi films of today, from “Star Wars”, “Indiana Jones” films, “Aliens”, “Flash Gordon”, “Prometheus” to name a few, and to one’s surprise, Jodorowsky’s film was never made.
Yes, there was the 1984 box office bomb titled as “Dune” which was directed by David Lynch (who literally wanted nothing to do with the film due to producers and execs not giving him any creative control) but if there was one adaptation of Frank Herbert’s popular sci-fi book series, it was Jodorowsky’s vision that would help pave the way for today’s science fiction films.
And now a documentary titled “Jodorowsky’s Dune” featuring interviews with Alejandro Jodorowsky, producer Michel Seydoux and many of those who were cast for the film or knew about greatest sci-fi film never made, chime in on how “Jodorowsky’s Dune”, despite not being made, still leaves its footprints behind in today’s sci-fi cinema.
From how Alejandro Jodorowsky was able to tap into talent such as Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, David Carradine, Salvador Dali and also music groups such as Pink Floyd and Magma but also artistic talents of H.R. Giger and Jean “Moebius” Giraud.
And also learning why this film was never made and Alejandro’s feelings when he watched the David Lynch version of “Dune” and more!
For anyone wanting to know more about Jodorowsky’s interpretation of “Dune” will definitely not want to miss out on this insightful, fun and entertaining documentary!
“Jodorowsky’s Dune” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio). As one can expect from a documentary, there is footage from various sources, so not all is pristine. But for the most part, the main footage was shot digitally in HD. And the documentary as a whole, looks very good.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Jodorowsky’s Dune” is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Dialogue and music are crystal clear coming from the center and front channels.
“Jodorowsky’s Dune” comes with the following special features:
- Deleted Scenes – 46:24 – There are nine deleted scenes including the reunion of Jodorowsky and producer Michel Seydoux who have not talked to each other since the cancellation of Jodorowsky’s “Dune”.
“Jodorowsky’s Dune” comes with both the Blu-ray and DVD version of the film.
When I was younger, I grew up reading Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and when I was in my very early teens, David Lynch’s “Dune” was the version that would play constantly on HBO.
But it was a maddening film for me because unlike “Star Wars” or other sci-fi films that have come out during that time, I couldn’t understand it. I watched the film so many times and felt the plot was just a mess and perhaps it was reaching out to sci-fi intellectuals that would comprehend and enjoy the film more than me.
Fast forward over a decade later and having become a cineaste and having a keen appreciation of film from the auteurs of the past and today, I started to learn more about Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “Dune” after I was researching his work for “El Topo” and again for “The Holy Mountain”.
Jodorowsky’s work are considered as surreal masterpiece among cineaste and his films are audacious, mesmerizing and so unique, that there is no comparison to his work.
So, if you have done any research into the work of Jodorowsky, you would learn that he was slated to direct the sci-fi film “Dune” but while you could read online about his involvement, no one delves deeper into the making of the film than filmmaker Frank Pavich for his documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune”.
With an extensive interview with Alejandro Jodorowsky, producer Michel Seydoux and many others who are aware of the work or who were connected to the film that never came to be, the documentary sheds a lot of light of how Jodorowsky was able to get Salvador Dali, Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, to name a few. But also how he was able to tap into the talents of Chriss Foss, Jean Giraud (Moebius) and H.R. Giger.
And because Jodorowsky was an artist and his canvas was film, he wanted a film that was unlike anything that has ever been made before. Unfortunately, Hollywood execs were not too keen with Jodorowsky’s “Dune” especially the duration of the film that the film never came to be.
But those who worked on the film, carried on to bring their designs on other sci-fi films, one memorable would be on the sci-fi films “Aliens” which involved a few of those who were part of Jodorowsky’s “Dune” crew.
But watching “Jodorowsky’s Dune”, you get the sense of emotion, passion and the longing that Jodorowsky had for the making of “Dune” but we get to see how devastating it was for him, to not make it. How difficult it was for him to watch David Lynch’s version of “Dune” but to see his feeling after he watched the film. But also how his plans for “Dune” has left a footprint in other sci-fi films such as “Star Wars”, “Aliens”, “Terminator”, “Indiana Jones” to name a few.
The documentary was wonderfully researched and the amount of interviews done for this documentary was well-done. H.R. Giger, Gary Kurtz, Nicolas Winding Refn really gave great insight of the greatness of the film and why it was never made, Michel Seydoux gave us a perspective on the production side, film critic Devin Faraci gave us a perspective of a sci-fan and the importance of the making of this film to Amanda Lear discussing the moments when Jodorowsky casted her and Salvador Dali.
Many tidbits that I never knew about what went on in the planning stages of what could have become an epic sci-fi masterpiece.
The Blu-ray features great picture quality and as one can expect from a documentary featuring videos and images from various sources to a clear dialogue-driven lossless soundtrack. You also get over 45-minutes worth of deleted scenes but one that caught my attention was the reunion between Alejandro Jodrowsky and producer Michel Seydoux, who stopped talking after the film was never greenlit for production.
Overall, Frank Pavich’s “Jodorowsky’s Dune” is a magnificent documentary on possibly the greatest sci-fi film never made. Highly recommended!
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