|Dune, as directed by some madman you probably have never heard of.
||[Jun. 23rd, 2009|11:30 pm]
Just a warning, I'm about to go off on a weird tangent here.
So. Alejandro Jodorowsky. Ever heard of him? Possibly not, I have yet to meet anyone who has, but then, I try not to mention him in public so often. I mean sure, I've finally met a few people who've seen Tetsuo the Iron Man, and there are plenty of David Lynch lovers out there, but Jodorowsky is pretty obscure, despite his two most popular films, El Topo (surrealistic western madness) and the the Holy Mountain (psychadelic quest for enlightenment), were distributed by the Beatles manager Allen Klein, with the latter of the two being completely financed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
But then, he's only done a few other films along with those, none of which are nearly as notable,and finding any of it on DVD is damn near impossible. I got lucky in getting my copy of El Topo at Target. I guess it also lends to his obscurity that, despite having written quite a ton of comicbooks after deciding that film wasn't good enough, English translations are hard to come by. I myself am lucky to have the first volume of Technopriests (incredibly fucked up and mythical sci fi), the second volume of Son of the Gun (starring gunslinger-with-a-tail Juan Solo!), and an old 1980's issue of Heavy Metal with a strip written by him and illustrated by Moebius.
So don't feel bad if you haven't heard of him. Hell, I feel weird bringing up my knowledge of the man, for fear of getting looked at funny or for people thinking I'm some pretentious twat.
Because yeah, his films are weird, surreal, arthouse things that are equal parts pretentious, whimsical, bizarre, and horrifying. And his comics just kind of crank it all up, though I admit he gets to work with some INSANE illustrators.
Anyways, here we go, I'm getting to the meat and potatoes of this thing.
When I read about how David Lynch was picked to direct Dune (and also the Elephant Man before that) based on Eraserhead, I get confused. How could you watch Eraserhead and think, "man, this guy should TOTALLY direct a sci fi movie!" Hell, how can you watch Eraserhead and be capable of rational thought at all for at least 3 days afterwards? Wait, I may've just answered my own question.
Anyway, David Lynch directed Dune in the 80's, and it was an odd beast. But that's not the point.
The point is, Lynch was the final guy in a string of directors (including Ridley Scott) who stepped up to direct Dune, and he's the only one to succeed in what is truly a case of what-the-fuckery on a cosmic scale.
The first guy they wanted to direct the film, though? Jodorowsky. Why? I HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE.
Looking into it, Jodorowsky's vision of Dune was practically doomed from the start. He, much like Lynch, never read the book at first, so when he set forth in writing the 14-hour-long script, he took MASSIVE artistic liberties and went way off-track with the weirdness, wanting shit like making Duke Leto a eunuch and wanting the spice to be some sort of spongey substance. This would've been hardly anything like the novel, so it's for the best it never happened.
And yet, at the same time, look at the conceptual artists who were involved and the work they produced for Jodorowsky before the thing got aborted:
Jean "Moebius" Giraud!
H.R. motherfucking Giger!
Other interesting things to note are that the soundtrack would've been done entirely by Pink Floyd and Salvador "melting clocks" Dali as the Emperor!
Granted, this was the 70's, and special effects technology could not possibly live up to the concept art done by these fine artists, but still, can you imagine what kind of movie this would have been? Sure, it would not have been at all what any Dune fan would have wanted, but it would've been INCREDIBLE.
Incredible, and fucked up.
After watching El Topo again the other night and watching most of Jodorowsky's first film, Fando Y Lis, without English subtitles, and after seeing the crap he's pulled off in comics, I just find myself sitting, wondering, just what kind of movie he would've made if he had the abilities to make it. Maybe you're reading this thinking that I'm insane and retarded for it, but Jodorowsky is unrivaled when it comes to such a strange fucking imagination.
I mean hell, the guy's a philosopher who does therapeutic psychomagic. Say that out loud: THERAPEUTIC PSYCHOMAGIC.
He's one of the most interesting minds I've encountered.
Apparently, a lot of his ideas for the film, once production was scrapped, went into his sci fi comics, which can be seen, as my volume of Technopriests has ornithopters and two or three fat characters floating around with suspensors like our fair Baron, and I'd like to get my hands on more of his work, but still...
Admit it, it would've been one HELL of a movie.