This unmade film would have marked the only on screen appearance of the character Lady Margot Fenring. Despite being a high ranking Bene Gesserit and part of their machinations in Herbert's novel, the character was entirely omitted from the David Lynch film. Her role in the story was taken by Princess Irulan in the SyFy Channel miniseries version. Margot's husband, Count Hasimir Fenring, also had a significant role in Jodorowsky's script, only to be omitted entirely from Lynch's film. Unlike his wife, he did appear in the SyFy miniseries, but in a substantially reduced role from his one in the book. See more »
This system make of us slaves. Without dignity. WIthout depth. With a devil in our pocket. This, this incredible money are in the pocket. This money. This shit. This nothing. This paper who have nothing inside. Movies have heart. Boom-boom-boom. Have mind. Have power. Have ambition. I wanted to do something like that. Why not?
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"This is not the greatest film in the world, no - this is just a tribute"
I couldn't resist the urge to paraphrase the Tenacious D lyric for this review's title, cause I can't imagine anything more fitting.
I watched this documentary in anticipation of Denis Villeneuve's Dune, trying to better understand why adapting Dune in film has been such a challenge. One answer I came away with is that the sheer magnitude, complexity and transcendental nature of the source material triggers the fantasy-turned-burden of creating the greatest film in the history of cinema. It's like the Dune film has been the holy grail of modern sci-fi filmmaking. Jodorowsky was the first to chase it and was - and still very much is - convinced he had it. If only those pesky studio execs could see past the director's unconventional M.O. and cough up the money.
Jodorowsky's passionate and fascinating retelling of this epic adventure in filmmaking alone is enough to fill the screen for the whole 90 minutes, but we also get regaled with a good amount of the original concept art, animated storyboards and music that give us a taste of the project's intended aesthetic. The testimonies of some of the artists involved in the project help ground this implausible-sounding tale to reality.
I don't think the documentary makes any attempt to be objective, so it shouldn't be viewed as a complete chronicle of how this ambitious project went down. It's more a character piece on Jodorowsky himself, as a - slightly unhinged, slightly megalomaniac - uncompromising visionary, who at that one point in history managed to recruit an "army" (his term) of avant-garde talent (a jaw-dropping list of huge names from all over the artistic world from Orson Welles to Mick Jagger, from Salvador Dali to Pink Floyd).
Jodorowski the person is intriguing and flawed in equal measures. He reminded me a lot of Ayn Rand's Howard Roark (The Fountainhead) in the way that he put his art before anything and anyone else, displaying hints of cruelty: he admits to subjecting his 12-year-old son to a 2-year punishing training regime in preparation for his role as Paul Atreides, then he casually uses rape and "not respecting" women as a metaphor for creating great art (a bit you'd think the director would have chosen to cut out so as to protect the old man in this otherwise hagiographical portrayal).
In all, it's well worth a watch, especially in light of 2020's Dune, but it's good going into it knowing what to expect and what not to expect.
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