- Science-fiction fans know DUNE as one of the greatest and most popular works in the history of the genre.
- Book lovers know DUNE as a book they might want to read some day, even if they aren't into science-fiction.
- Film addicts know DUNE as that fascinatingly wierd "mainstream" movie by David Lynch, starring Kyle MacLachlan, with Sting, and a pre-'Star Trek: The Next Generation' appearance by Patrick Stewart.
- Cable TV & streaming aficianados might know DUNE from it's SyFy channel miniseries (when it was still the Sci-Fi Channel).
- Media nerds know all of the above, and perhaps thousands of associated connections, including- loosely -the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon rule (via 'X-Men: First Class')
- But the true Alpha Geek knows about Alejandro Jodorowsky's attempt to make DUNE, before the seeds of modern popular culture had been sown, and now you can, too! It's alleged to be one of the greatest films never made.
How's this for a convolution? A never-made movie, based on a science-fiction novel, introduces young creatives who's contributions are included a production-book which changes cultural history and, later, becomes a documentary about the crucial cultural impact of the attempt and it's participants.
On the face, JODOROWSKY'S DUNE is a documentary about one man's failed attempt to make an epic motion picture in the mid-1970s; based on an epic novel. It sounds like something that might be mistaken as a tragic tale of heartache and loss, but it is not. It's the tale of a passionate journey.
It's the story of a Jodorowsky's romance with the idea of filming the book DUNE; the 'love-making' of assembling his team, the 'copulation' of creative talents, and the 'birth' of another book; the pre-production template for Jodorowsky's vision. This pre-production template was a rather hefty tome, and seems to have become the aforementioned seeds of modern popular culture, for film at least.
I can't share much more without spoiling the unfolding of a fascinating story. Let me just say that if you enjoy wallowing through movie "bonus features", as I do, you'll love this documentary. It's the greatest "making of" feature you'll ever see, for a film that never existed. It's all true, and pleasantly devoid of promotional puffery found so often in bonus features, because, this time, there's no film to promote. It's all reflection on a failure; perhaps the most culturally relevant failure in cinema history.