” JODOROWSKY”S DUNE ” : the ambition fallen Alejandro Jodorowsky

JODOROWSKY”S DUNE by Frank Pavich, this is the story of the design of a film, DUNE, by a director, a visionary, Alejandro Jodorowsky. It is also a documentary succeeded on a man and his work. Exciting in its narrative, and its staging and the quality of his analysis.

JODOROWSKY”S DUNE , explained that the vision of the work of Frank Herbert by the director of the chilean had a beautiful be brilliant and revolutionary, it wasn’t to the idea that Hollywood could make a film of science-fiction. A film which is adapted from a best-selling interplanetary as DUNE. The project, after its phase of preparation, therefore, was aborted.

The documentary introduces us to his director, tells us then, why this film could be a masterpiece of cinema, and finally offers us a reflection on the madness passionate and destructive.


Thus, past a prologue intended to set the mood and to convince them of the potential of the thing, the documentary introduces us to his main character, and his PLAN. Jodorowsky therefore, it is also portrayed by himself, then by his fans/bosses/employees, and finally by his family, represented by his own son. These different points of view on the film director draw the portrait of a person, narcissistic and self-absorbed, one of those beautiful speakers that don’t need big words to impress. A real looker oral glibness efficient, precise and direct. The documentary confronts the old man prolific producer complex Alejandro Jodorowsky, director of the chilean out of the ordinary, whose filmography (The Holy Mountain, Fando y Lis, El Topo…) speaks in his name ; a man whose metaphysical reflection, the search of the symbol as a hidden meaning/explanation of things and acuity of artistic, show a real intelligence to the media cinema. His films, by their symbolic thrust and to a certain extent metaphysical, have something that’s whole, singular, personal. They express a form of up the endianness, and sincerity, is unique. These qualities, combined with his personality, his thoughts, his talent, are redirected to the viewer in a maelstrom graphic and emotionally insane. Alejandro Jodorowsky Jodo for intimate, this is one of those rare directors, like Stanley Kubrick, Akira Kurosawa, Steven Spielberg and a few others, to UNDERSTAND the cinema, its power of representation, its impact.

But something is wrong. The personality ofAlejandro Jodorowsky and is not necessarily the image that we have of him from seeing his movies. Her lack of subtlety.

The first intelligence of the documentary is to propose to the viewer to take a step back from their perception of the old director. JODOROWSKY”S DUNE highlights the duality of the author, and points to the future failure of his enterprise, great as it is.

Indeed, following the critical success of his previous films, a certain French producer, Michel Seydoux, wants at any price to work with him. It will give him enough power to start the pre-production of the adaptation of a literary cult, DUNE by Frank Herbert. However, the unbounded ambition of Jodorowski forced to be produced by Hollywood…, The preparatory work is supposed to convince the studios to produce the film. The plan ofAlejandro Jodorowsky is simple : to bring together the best technical team possible, to achieve the best film possible. “A Dune to reunite them all, and in the madness bind them”.

Step-by-step, the documentary provides the details of each collaboration. Why him ? What is it capable ? Are recruiting or not. As well, the fiery chatty and jovial director allowed him to convince Moebius, recruited for the film-its story-boards (and incidentally, his contribution to the D. A.), H. R. Giger and Chris Foss to the artistic director, Dan o’bannon technique. The ambition of the director does not stop there : he wanted to get a different group for the sound atmosphere of each planet ! It is thus that he approached, with success, Pink Floyd (and to a lesser extent, Magma). Level players, nothing less than David Carradine, Salvador Dalí , Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, and even Amanda Lear. Alejandro Jodorowsky was looking for his film, the visual impact and aesthetics of these personalities. He wanted to associate what they represented in the collective memory, and the interpretation that he gave of emblematic protagonists.

Jodorowsky is so inhabited by his mystical conception of art, which he identifies immediately those who will not correspond to the energy of his film. As Douglas Trumbull. The man was the craftsman responsible for the special effects awesome and timeless 2001 : a space odyssey, a film dating back just the same in 1968 .

Alejandro Jodorowsky will refuse to cooperate with him, through lack of spiritual connection (!!!). A very mystical conception of a work which does not fail to be seduced by his approach to a thousand places of conformism hollywood today.

Very quickly, the director is free of any notion of heritage or respect for the original material to create his own version. In line with the rest of his work, the director of the Chilean research the spiritual meaning of DUNE. He used to do this, a representation of the image. A force indescribable the guide, as a supernatural presence which indicates what choice to make, or not. This mystical energy comes from Jodorowsky himself, who by his way of telling her own story, introduced a form of chance that allowed his project to be born, but also to fall.

JODOROWSKY”S DUNE contains two films : one ofAlejandro Jodorowsky, and Frank Pavich.

We can also see through this fascinating subject, achieving fine-tuning of the documentary.

First, in terms of narrative. Because it takes adopts the style of a film of robberies. The documentary introduces us to the brain (Jodo), the bank (Hollywood), the team’s benefactor (Michel Seydoux) and robbers (international talent, Giger, O’bannon, Foss, etc), then the execution of the plan. The only difference is that we know that this hold-up incredible will fail inexorably. Pavich managed by this narration to convey to the viewer a true emotion made up of suspense, empathy and a little distrust as to the success of the project. A narrative to be effective as supported by a rate calculated and precise. The scope of each intervention, of each image, is maximum. For example, from the first minute, Frank Pavich involving Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives) to validate the undertaking ofAlejandro Jodorowsky, before even that this one really speaks. A stylish way to convince the viewer not initiated to the work of director chilean.

Then, in terms of staging. Intelligently, Franck Pavich proposes to reconstruct what would have been the DUNE ofAlejandro Jodorowsky.

The most striking example is the sequence of introduction, reconstituted by the documentary filmmaker. He succeeds by a mounting ingenious digital effects associated with the storytelling skills of Moebius and Jodorowsky to provide literally life – DUNE. The scene in question was an impossible dolly a camera imaginary located on the edge of the universe, and that would move through galaxies and planets to get closer to the end of three minutes, of the planet of the Atréides and Harkonnens, and by this, realize the scale of the intergalactic war.

Bob Zemeckis has used a similar plan (and upside) for the intro its goes unappreciated Contact.

It is rather striking to note the general impact of the DUNE on the collective unconscious ! Because the art team put together for the cancelled project of JODO will be held later for another film monument : Alien, Ridley Scott.

The simple fact thatAlien exists shows the impact of DUNE by Alejandro Jodorowski on the pop-culture, despite the non-existence of this film !

Without DUNE, notAlien, or Terminator 2, Se7en, or d’Amélie Poulain ;-), no Blade Runner, no Fifth element, or Prometheus, etc

“JODOROWSKY”S DUNE brings together two entertaining movies : the film, of a work defined by the unwavering faith of its author in the art and the documentary, about the madness of Alejandro Jodorowsky.”

Finally, regarding the analytical part of the documentary, it will be important here, to rewind :

JODOROWSKY”S DUNE began with a series of plans showing the vastness of an office. Work ? relaxing ?

In any case, it is clearly a space dedicated entirely to the culture, to the cinema, of course, but especially to the entire work of its owner, Alejandro Jodorowsky. This simple introduction confined to watch from the outset, the megalomania and the self-centeredness ofAlejandro Jodorowsky, as well as his versatility and the extent of its culture… Of components not necessarily antagonistic, but remote, that the documentary will not fail to highlight, because they define in a simplified way, the personality schizophrenic ofAlejandro Jodorowsky. Frank Pavich seems to be so convinced of this DUNE revisited… Nevertheless, he does not forget to cover with humility and discretion, all aspects of the madness gripping of the director. Thus, a facet for disturbing the director we, for example, is shown during the intervention wisely distanced his son, Brontis Jodorowsky. The young man remembers the extraordinary physical training imposed by his father, to prepare him for the role of Paul Atréides. At 12 years old ! Because Jodorowsky had reshaped the character of Frank Herbert. At the end of the film, the body strength of Paul was suddenly in line with a total domination of mind over any living species, is reinforced by the spice, and his own death. Yes, death, because Jodorowsky wanted to kill Paul, to strengthen the impact mystique of the film. The motto ofAlejandro Jodorowsky, it was The ART BEFORE EVERYTHING. Even his own family.

The documentary ends by putting in parallel the ambition, the genius of the director, the madness that ensues and the economic reality. It thus introduces a form of doubt as to the veracity of the events narrated with passion by the old director. His genius flayed is gradually reduced to the status of a mere human being, capable of adjust pride, the reality of the facts. This goes through a few moments of “off topics” and shown without cutting, as this long-time or Jodo caress his cat, or this moment, or the father and the son Jodorowsky face facing the camera, or even this humility, the sudden – but short, in the face of the DUNEthe David Lynch.

The more one progresses towards the end of the film, the more one feels in the director now “fallen”, several forms of regret – in watermark.

Sorry to have taken so much energy at the expense of his own family. We perceive here an echo in the fabulous film confession of another master, Hayao Miyazaki : The Wind Rises… we Must Attempt to Live.

Regret to see that there was finally a cog from a Hollywood industry admitting the talent, that as spring trade.

Regret you have seen his work of art and science-fictional, and relegated to the rank of a given encrypted by the producers that there were no possible profit.

Regret having missed the opportunity to prove the power of a vision is metaphysical and symbolic, associated with a work public, and universally known as DUNE.

In the end, JODOROWSKY”S DUNE is a fascinating film on a work that will never see the light of day but which remains no less the founder of the culture as we know it now.

It is also a documentary successful, the ambition, the passion and the madness. About a man finally quite complex, in spite of appearances, Alejandro Jodorowsky.

Frank Pavich even managed the feat to in turn influence the Film : the film The Death of “Superman Lives” What Happened ? takes about the failed Tim Burton, the same dramatic tension. Bravo.




• Original title : Jodorowsky”s Dune

• Realisation : Frank Pavich

• Main actors : Alejandro Jodorowsky, Nicolas Winding Refn, Michel Seydoux, H. R. Giger, Amanda Lear

• Country of origin : U. S. A.

• Released : 16 march 2016

• Duration : 1h25min

• Distributor : Nour Films

• Synopsis :This film is presented in the Directors ‘ Fortnight 2013. A documentary on the behind the scenes of a project aborted, the adaptation of the science fiction novel Dune by Alejandro Jodorowsky in the 1970s.


Category: Uncategorized

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