I loved this documentary about Alejandro Jodorowsky's quixotic quest to make a movie based on Frank Herbert's Dune in the mid-70s. In this 2014 film, we get to see and hear Jodorowsky, an energetic and charismatic octogenarian, describe with great passion his dream to combine the talents of Moebius, Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger, Orson Welles, Pink Floyd, H.R. Giger and top special effects artists to produce what has been called "The Greatest Movie Never Made." There's one scene in the film where Jodorowsky is describing a trippy space flight scene, accompanied by Moebius' stunning storyboards, which momentarily lets you see the mind-blowing awesomeness of a movie that exists only in the mind of Jodorowsky.
It's the work of Michael Warren, who gathered every scene from every extant edition and reorganized the resulting spice opera into a more complete narrative. He also removed a few seconds, too, to fix a continuity error.
Contrary to legend, it's apparently not the case that a legendary 4 hour "working" cut of David Lynch's original is out there waiting to be found. So this—which includes the expository picturebook used to help TV viewers figure out what the hell is going on—is likely the longest we'll ever see. [via Digg]
Previously: Dune Without Words.
In the case of director Alejandro Jodorowsky, his vision for Frank Herbert’s masterwork Dune was so over the top, so surreal (and, at times, so absurd), it probably would have blown the minds of critics before they had a chance to grumble.
That is, if Jodorowsky’s translation and transmogrification of Dune had ever been made. It never was.
Ron Miller posts a gallery of stunning, if rather small images at io9: "In the beginning there were sketches...thousands of sketches. Almost all of these were done by the brilliant production designer Tony Masters. ... These were eventually incorporated into the production paintings I created.." Read the rest
Omni Reboot offers a gallery of sandworms, fremen and the deserts of Arrakis as painted by John Schoenher, who was described by author Frank Herbert as “the only artist who has ever visited Dune.” [Omni Reboot] Read the rest
At The New Yorker, Jon Michaud looks at why Frank Herbert's space opera, Dune, endures despite failing to ender the public consciousness the way Lord of the Rings and Star Wars have.
There are no “Dune” conventions. Catchphrases from the book have not entered the language. Nevertheless ... With daily reminders of the intensifying effects of global warming, the spectre of a worldwide water shortage, and continued political upheaval in the oil-rich Middle East, it is possible that “Dune” is even more relevant now than when it was first published. If you haven’t read it lately, it’s worth a return visit. If you’ve never read it, you should find time to.
A good article, which points out how the first novel's brilliance has been obscured by a distinctly second-rate franchise. A more salient reason Dune didn't penetrate massivedom, though, is simply that the movie wasn't good enough and it bombed. To seal the pop culture deal—and popular culture isn't quite the same thing as mere success or awareness—the screen is all-important. It's the moment of translation, the emergence of a story from the cocoon of literature to the glare of popular culture in all its splendor and squalor. A brilliantly-imagined but confused movie by David Lynch made Dune too weird, and a SyFy TV series made it too cheap. This puts it where Lord of the Rings was before Peter Jackson: pregnant with cinematic possibility, but misshapen by prior efforts.
But hey, it could be worse! You could be into Earthsea, which has had two movies made of it, each terrible in entirely different ways except one: both replaced the protagonist of color with a white dude. Read the rest