In a Chilean little town, the son of an uprooted couple, formed by a rigorous communist father and a loving but weak mother, tries to pave his own path in a society that does not understand their Jewish-Ukrainian origins.
A former circus artist escapes from a mental hospital to rejoin his armless mother - the leader of a strange religious cult - and is forced to enact brutal murders in her name as he becomes "her arms".
Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.
Alejandro Jodorowsky had originally planned on filming Dune in the early-'70s, and had enlisted the help of Jean Giraud and H.R. Giger to create the movie's visual style. Salvador Dalí was enlisted to play the part of the Emperor, and Jodorowsky also intended to cast his own son Brontis Jodorowsky as Paul, David Carradine as Duke Leto, Orson Welles as the Baron, and Gloria Swanson as the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother. The soundtrack was to be done by Pink Floyd, whose compositions would represent the progressive House of Atreides, and influential 70s French progressive rock band Magma, whose compositions would represent the evil House of Harkonnen. According to Jodorowsky, "The project was sabotaged in Hollywood. It was French and not American. Their message was 'not Hollywood enough'. There was intrigue, plunder. The storyboard was circulated among all the big studios. Later, the visual aspect of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) strangely resembled our style. To make Alien (1979), they called Moebius [Giraud], Chris Foss, Giger, Dan O'Bannon, etc. The project signaled to Americans the possibility of making a big show of science-fiction films, outside of the scientific rigor of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The project of Dune changed our lives." Jodorowsky also planned on making numerous changes to the source material, including making Duke Leto a eunuch and the spice a blue sponge. Author Frank Herbert openly despised these concepts. See more »
He said, "I want to produce you anything. What do you want to do?" I say, "Dune!" And he say, "Yes."
Michel Seydoux, Producer - DUNE:
Why? Because the book was the most beautiful science fiction book. It was the bible of science fiction for all the big devotees. Because the book had a worldwide publishing success that you could find in every country.
I didn't read Dune. But, I have a friend who say to me it was fantastic. I don't know why I say Dune. I can say Don Quixote or I can said Hamlet. I don't know any way, anything. I...
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If you loved El Topo and The Holy Mountain in the 1970s, even if you think that you've now grown up and put such mystical mumbo-jumbo behind you, you've still got to see this documentary about a movie that was never made. How, you may ask, can a film be made about another film that never existed? Well, in the tale spun by Alejandro (and his tale- telling, even in his broken English, is as fine as that of Spalding Gray), someone told him about the book Dune, by Frank Herbert, and, at a time when producers were willing to shower Alejandro with money, Alejandro said, "That will be my next movie." He had not read the book. It's not clear from the movie that he EVER read the book. But he went about hiring the best illustrators to create the most fantastic storyboard ever made, a huge volume the size of an artbook merged with the Unabridged Oxford, that illustrated the complete film, beginning to end. It only roughly corresponded to the novel, but to Alejandro, that did not matter. He told the story that he wanted to tell, about how one messianic figure, Paul (who would be depicted by Alejandro's son), would liberate, not just the planet Arrakus, but the entire universe. And all of this would have been depicted visually with special effects, in 1974.
In Alejandro's tale, this film was $5 million away from being made. And it would have starred David Carradine, Orson Welles, and Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger among others. Alejandro's tales of finding these various stars and offering the roles are fantastical in themselves, and highly dubious, but for my to retell the tales here would spoil some of the best parts of the movie.
I attended the movie with someone who had not seen Alejandro's movies, nor had he read Dune (although it's on his must-read list), but he loved the movie because (1) it's a great tale, and (2) the comic book artists and special effects people that Alejandro employed, and who were working on the film when they pulled the plug, have gone on to great fame in other films and in comic art. And my friend was mostly nonexistent in the 1970s.
I remember Alejandro coming to speak at my college in 1971, and he was spellbinding, and he is still spellbinding in this film.
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