Back in 1974, it was a mad dream of surrealist filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, The Holy Mountain) to tackle Frank Herbert’s science fiction classic Dune, especially when you consider that at the time, Jodorowsky hadn’t even read the novel. But what becomes quite clear during the early stages of this fascinating and trippy documentary by Frank Pavich is that it didn’t really matter whether “Jodo,” as his creative collaborators called him, had read the book or not because he was going to make “his” version of Dune.
With artists like H.R. Giger (Oscar winner — Best Visual Effects for Alien), Chris Foss (a conceptual artist on Alien) and Dan O’Bannon (a writer credited for his work on the Alien franchise and Heavy Metal) — those he dubbed his “spiritual warriors” — Jodorowsky wouldn’t have been satisfied with a film that was slavishly devoted to the source material, which probably explains why his Dune was never made, despite the project’s expansively detailed development plans. Jodorowsky’s Dune should leave audacious members of the audience wondering what adaptations within the contemporary YA franchises might look like if a true visionary like Jodorowsky were allowed to put his stamp on them. I don’t know about you, but I might pay good money to see Jodorowsky’s Harry Potter. (PG-13) Grade: A