Friday, June 27, 2014

Jodorowsky's "Dune"


  • 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.

Catch it this week at The Neon Movies in Dayton, Ohio:

Friday (June 27, '14) -- 5:15p, 9:45p
Saturday (June 28, '14) -- 5:15p
Sunday (June 29, '14) -- 5:15p, 9:45p
Monday - Thursday (June 30-July 3, '14) -- 5:15p
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Saturday, June 07, 2014

Bonnett's Mention on a Personal Blog

Books, books, books... We love books in general. It's a broad spectrum. There are books we favor above others and books we disdain. Books are not "like our children", so we DO find ourselves playing favorites. And every once in a while we encounter books or book-centric endeavors that require further investigation.

Quite a few years ago (2006 or so) I stumbled upon a blog called Babes With Books. I've mentioned it here before. It no longer exists, having disappeared unceremoniously a few years later. It was simply a collection of "beautiful women reading books" - not porn, not nude, but perhaps not quite safe for work. The collection was gathered from all over the web, and - I suspect, used without permission. I strongly suspect that it was the lack of permission factor behind it's disappearance. The blog was even written about in WIRED magazine at one point. Something reminded me of that blog tonight, and it's pseudonymous proprietor "Hardley Surton", so I plugged it into the search bar and found... very little.

Thanks to the WIRED article, the widespread interest in books, and the overall fascination with "pretty girls" it's clear I wasn't the only one who had some appreciation for the collection. I was curious to see if anyone else had taken up the banner of Babes with Books, but found only articles lamenting it's loss, or just mentioning it as a notable curiosity of the interwebs, like the World's Biggest Ball of String. One man's blog actually found and quoted a comment I'd left on regarding the Hardley Surton phenomenon.

So, really, this wordy post is just a nod to Doug Bolden as a fellow book lover and internet oddity aficionado. Thank you, Doug, for mentioning our blog and best wishes along your path.