By today’s standards, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s vision for a film adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel still might have be adventurous, but there is a lot about it which would just feel familiar. Many of these images and ideas have been seen elsewhere, but that is only further proof of how influential Jodorowsky’s Dune was despite never being made. The vision created in a massive pre-production book for the film went on to influence dozens of remarkable films after the 1975 attempt at a large-scale science fiction epic failed. This was a filmmaker so far ahead of his time that it nearly makes George Lucas look like an opportunist and a bit of a plagiarist. But the same could be said for a dozen other filmmakers as well. Without the work that went into Jodorowsky’s Dune there might not have ever been an Alien franchise either.
The documentary allows audiences to finally see a fraction of Jodorowsky’s vision for Frank Herbert’s novel, mostly through interviews with the filmmaker and excerpts of the work done for the famous pre-production book. Many of the people who collaborated on that book went on to use their ideas in other science fiction films, showing how the work from a film that was never made had an effect on countless legendary movies. The one place Jodorowsky’s vision for Dune can’t be found is in the version that was eventually made without him by director David Lynch.
There is a lot of Jodorowsky’s vision seen in the simple telling of his preparation to sell the film to studios. He tells a number of whimsical stories about the obstacles he faced in constructing his dream team of artists. This includes promises of food specifications for the ever-indulging Orson Welles, not to mention the absurd requirements of the egomaniacal Salvador Dali. As well as actors to star in his movie, Jodorowsky compiled visual artists and musical performers for the soundtrack and design of the film. Many of the designs from artist H.R. Giger appear to be the first stage in the development of images eventually used for the designs in the Alien franchise.
The film is 90-minutes long, which is just enough to leave you wanting to see Jodorowsky’s Dune. The special features include over 40-minutes of deleted scenes, which were better left on the cutting-room floor. Some of it is interesting, but there is just so much talking.
Entertainment Value: 7/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 8.5/10
Historical Significance: 8/10