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Documentary Filmmaker Frank Pavich on Alejandro Jodorowsky Hallucinatory Take on ‘Dune’

PIC: Jodorowsky's Dune (C)

PIC: Jodorowsky’s Dune (C)

Visionary director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s (El Topo, The Holy Mountain) proposed treatment for Frank Herbert’s Dune is the stuff of legends: The psychedelic sci-fi freakout that could have been. It has been called “the greatest film never made,” and now documentary filmmaker Frank Pavich tells the tale in his film Jodorowsky’s Dune. He recently spoke with NPR’s Scott Simon.

Via NPR:

On the team Jodorowsky gathered for the film

He had a team of artists, which he dubbed his “spiritual warriors.” [There] was a French comic book artist named Moebius [the pseudonym of Jean Giraud] … a British sci-fi artist named Chris Foss … the Swiss surrealist H. R. Giger … and there was a gentleman named Dan O’Bannon who was going to come in and do special effects. And this team of spiritual warriors worked with Jodorowsky for a good two years in Paris.

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Jodorowsky’s Lost Film

Tusk1980 wasn’t a great year for Alejandro Jodorowsky. Having just barely survived the end of the 1970’s when the film that was to be his magnum opus — an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic Dune — fell apart for the final time, Jodo was anxious to get back to work. He agreed to make a children’s film.

At first, the idea of the anarchist auteur making a movie for kids might sound odd, but Tusk (Poo Lorn L’Elephant) told a tale about the shared fate of an English girl and an Indian elephant. The story had the kind of spiritual overtones that Jodo had marshaled so furiously in The Holy Mountain and the coming of age tale shared some similarities with El Topo — even the Indian locations promised exotic settings that surely inspired the director.

Alas, a classic it was not meant to be. Tusk is roundly criticized by those who’ve been able to see it — the only home release is an un-subtitled French language version on VHS.… Read the rest

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