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Jodorowsky's Dune

8/10
Documentary . Biography . History
 

Shot in France, England, Switzerland and the United States, this documentary covers director Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, Holy Mountain, Santa Sangre) and his 1974 Quixotic attempt to adapt the seminal sci-fi novel Dune into a feature film. After spending 2 years and millions of dollars, the massive undertaking eventually fell apart, but the artists Jodorowsky assembled for the legendary project continued to work together. This group of artists, or his “warriors” as Jodorowsky named them, went on to define modern sci-fi cinema with such films as Alien, Blade Runner, Star Wars and Total Recall.

 
Actors: Richard Stanley , Nicolas Winding Refn , Brontis Jodorowsky , Chris Foss , H.R. Giger , Michel Seydoux , Alejandro Jodorowsky , Devin Faraci , Drew McWeeny , Gary Kurtz , Amanda Lear
Directors: Frank Pavich
Country: FRANCE , USA
Release: 2014-02-14
More Info:
  • Steve Persall

    Herbert's tale is twisted into a barely recognizable rush of pretentions made entertaining by Jodorowsky's glee in describing them. At age 85 he remains a madman with immense personality, a pinhole visionary insisting his Dune would be a prophecy shaping generations. Jodorowsky's Dune makes a viewer wish he'd gotten the chance.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    Frank Pavich’s fun documentary captures an unbowed, exuberant Jodorowsky, who recalls his team of “spiritual warriors” with the camaraderie of a battle-scarred veteran.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    Highly entertaining chronicle of a dream unfilmed.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Jessica Kiang

    Director Pavich, his first time at bat, has crafted an unalloyed pleasure of a documentary, especially for those of us who care about "Dune," about sci-fi, and about the value and power of creative passion.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    [Jodorowsky's] a hoot, and so is Jodorowsky's Dune. But it's something more, too, a look at twisted genius and missed opportunities, a sad but intriguing combination.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Alan Scherstuhl

    At least we have this gem, the rare tease of what could have been that actually proves satisfying enough on its own.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    As a documentary on the origins and backstory of the unfilmed film, Jodorowsky’s Dune is unsurpassable. More than that, however, it also allows audiences a rare glimpse inside the furiously creative mind of Jodorowsky, who still, at 84, is a wonderfully mad genius of the moving image.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    With a mad captain at the helm, this documentary version of Jodorowsky’s “Dune” is probably more entertaining than what Hollywood would have done to it, with a clearer message: Our lives are like sands though an hourglass, so dream the impossible dream.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Tirdad Derakhshani

    "You have to be like a poet," Jodorowsky says at one point. "Your movie must be just as you think of it. . . . The movie has to be just like I dream it." What an extraordinary dream it could have been.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    In retrospect, it’s obvious why the film was never produced: The director was a lunatic.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Had this ambitious head trip come to pass, it might've made Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" look like "Go, Dog. Go!"

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Ben Kenigsberg

    While it’s heartbreaking that the movie never got made (son Brontis Jodorowsky, who would have played Paul Atreides, is particularly poignant imagining his alternate life as a superstar), Jodorowsky’s Dune posits that the raw materials nevertheless left an enduring mark on cinematic sci-fi, providing the basis for famous aspects of "Alien," "Star Wars," and "Contact."

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Here is a film that not only entertains, but also educates and -- thanks to Jodo's deep confidence and energetic artistic optimism -- one that also inspires.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    The made movie — i.e. Mr. Pavich's documentary — makes for a great seminar on creativity. Its star is Mr. Jodorowsky, outrageously handsome and dynamic at the age of 84.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    They’re great stories, and it’s through them that Jodorowsky’s Dune shows us how the greatest movie never made, in its own crazy little way, somehow still came to be.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    The message to take from Jodorowsky’s Dune: movies once had brains and balls, and lost them.

    Time Full Review
  • Jeannette Catsoulis

    Cheerfully partial and unapologetically deferential to its subject’s operatic self-promotion, Jodorowsky’s Dune makes you wish that he had scraped together the final $5 million needed, we are told, to realize his dream.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Given the evidence compiled here by director Frank Pavich, there’s reason to believe Jodorowsky’s “Dune” was more influential for never actually existing. It wound up being inhaled, like some ethereal alien spice, by a generation of moviemakers.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    Pavich does an admirable job tracking down surviving parties (except for the suspicious-sounding cast), opting for a humorous rather than indignant tone to the interviews.

    Variety Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    Pavich gives the Chilean-born Jodorowski his full say in the documentary, partly in Spanish and partly in expressive if slightly fractured English.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Grandly entertaining documentary.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    A mesmerizing movie, a history lesson about the pre-blockbuster era in science fiction movies.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    An account of a film that was never made despite all the love that its makers poured into it, yet somehow it's warm and inspirational: a call to arms for dreamers everywhere.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Bill Stamets

    [A] diverting documentary.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Ian Buckwalter

    For those with any interest in cult cinema or just the bizarre behind-the-scenes stories of any film production, Jodorowsky's Dune is a fascinating document of one of the most legendary films ever not made.

    NPR Full Review
  • Jesse Cataldo

    This is a fanboy movie, one more engaged with the excitement of possibility than that of reality, and whatever the noxious connotations of that form of film appreciation, this particular project does a pretty fantastic job of stirring up enthusiasm.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Jordan Hoffman

    It never quite elevates itself above something like a really well produced behind-the-scenes featurette on a high end Blu-ray. But if you’ve got that Jodorowsky T-shirt aping the Judas Priest logo, you may as well start lining up now.

    Film.com Full Review
  • Stephen Dalton

    The tone veers into film-fan geekery in places, but Jodorowsky is such a natural showman and irrepressible egotist that his ancient anecdotes never become tedious.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Geoff Pevere

    At its most heightened state of geek arousal, Frank Pavich’s Jodorowsky’s Dune imagines an alternate pop-cultural universe where an unmade movie changed everything.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Noel Murray

    The main problem with Jodorowsky’s Dune is that a significant amount of what makes Jodorowsky’s work special gets lost in Pavich’s fairly ordinary approach to the documentary form.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    The doc consists of interviews with the absurdly grandiose Jodorowsky (whose fans include Kanye West) plus acolytes like current director Nicolas Winding Refn and film nerds, all of whom walk us through storyboards and tell us how awesome this “greatest film never made” would have been.

    New York Post Full Review