Jodorowsky’s Dune

I woke up and didn’t feel much like watching the morning news with all the reports about the Warriors’ loss.  I went over to the office and finished up some work.  I finished up my shift and headed home.  I had to take a nap.  I awoke to watch “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” an interesting documentary about Alejandro Jodorowsky’s attempt to make a film of the famous Frank Herbert science fiction novel.  The cast was supposed to include David Carradine, Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger, Orson Welles, and Gloria Swanson.  Jodorowsky got artists like H.R. Giger and Moebius to work for him, along with Dan O’Bannon for special effects.  Pink Floyd was to work on the soundtrack.  Jodorowsky is a visual artist, but he doesn’t have command of the English language.  He uses the word “ambition” a lot.  I’m not too sure he was in touch with reality if he really expected to be able to make a 15-hour movie.  From the looks of it, it would have been a better film than the one that David Lynch eventually made.  The worm creatures were truly ridiculous in that movie.  With there was going to be severed limbs and intestines caught in blades, the movie would have been rated R, and I couldn’t see such a movie being able to recover its cost.  I don’t know how Jodorowsky convinced these people to hole themselves up in a castle for two years working on this movie when there was no money behind it.  O’Bannon even sold all his stuff and moved to France to do this work.  After “El Topo” and “The Holy Mountain,” Jodorowsky would not have been the big box office attraction for “Dune.”  This movie could have beaten “Star Wars” to the punch as far as special effects and visual design, and it could have changed the science fiction movie forever, but it could also have sunk the science fiction movie forever.  The team would go on to work on movies like “Alien” and “Tron.”  Jodorowsky did have an eye for talent.  I thought he was like the Charlie Finley of movie production.  He seemed to have chance meetings with everyone in the world.  He told a good story about Orson Welles and his appetite for food and wine.  Did Welles ever do a science fiction film?  I thought about what he looked like in “A Man for All Seasons.”  I’m not too sure this cast would come together on film.  I’m not too sure about David Carradine.  This movie did make me curious about the contents of the book they put together to help them pitch their concept to the studios.  I would like to have a look at it.  They said they had 20 copies, and there are two left.  This project was never going to be successful.  Everybody was working in an unreal atmosphere, closed off from everyday people.  A movie that follows a drop of blood through a woman’s reproductive system isn’t headed for a lot of ticket sales, at least not in 1975.  I have to give credit to Jodorowsky for trying something so audacious.  “Dune” was like his “Apocalypse Now.”  It could have been the greatest movie never made.  It should have turned out to be better than the David Lynch movie, which was a piece of crap.  I don’t know how they got permission to use bits of the Lynch film, considering what everyone thinks of it.  “Dune” could have been a breakthrough for Jodorowsky, although not at a 15-hour length.  Who would have seen it if it was like a science fiction Berlin Alexanderplatz?  Jodorowsky should have put out the work as a graphic novel to recover some money.  I kept wondering how he had the money to go around the world going to meet studio people and talking with Douglas Trumbull and everyone else.  Now he’s a man in his 80s.  His career wasn’t what it should have been after “El Topo.”  I thought that “The Holy Mountain” was too weird.  I’m not sure that “Dune” as a movie would have had enough audience appeal to be a hit.  It was about something called spice and a planet of worms.  The movie would have been like an LSD trip.  Some of the people who died on June 21 include June Christy (1990), John Lee Hooker (2001), Carroll O’Connor (2001), and Leon Uris (2003).  Today is a birthday for Chris Pratt (37), Juliette Lewis (43), Meredith Baxter (69), Michael Gross (69), and Ray Davies (72).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 21, The Byrds’ “Mr. Tambourine Man” was released in 1965.  The Rolling Stones were banned from New York hotels in 1966.  In 1969, Pete Townshend was detained in Memphis for using the slang term “bomb.”  In 1972, “The Revengers,” starring William Holden and Ernest Borgnine, was released.  In 1985, “Cocoon” was released.  In 1991, “The Rocketeer” was released.  In 2001, Carroll O’Connor died of a heart attack at age 76.

 

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