Missed Opportunities: A Further Note on Jodorowsky

Not that Jodorowsky can't speak for himself (see the man do it well here or on youtube), but I would love one small chance to talk about the director and also to lament the Dune he never made.  

Mime, clown, actor, writer, director, comic book author, somewhat psychoanalyst, therapist, and historian of the tarot card, Jodorowsky is obviously more interesting than Josh Hartnett.  This isn't to say he's a perfect artist, but his heart is in the right place and El Topo is the rare bit of pastiche that is paradoxically, truly unique.  Nice things out of the way, J is also a child of the mid-20th century and as such he bit far too blindly into the human potential movement and both continental philosophy (Satre and kids) and psychoanalysis.  This doesn't make him unpleasant -- he did so with great optimism and errs on the positive sides of both the latters -- but it does lead him to be false in spots and dates the otherwise timeless aspects of his films.  Can you fault people's want to believe or be certain?  Their want?  Certainly not. 

[For the record, lots of people did and still do buy into psychoanalysis and continental philosophy as if they were (cargo cult) beliefs, and they have gone on to rubbish people's minds with generic advice, taken as fact, or to obscure the truth and derail humanities departments at the world's best universities.  You can't blame Freud for the ideologues who followed him (well, he did overstate the truth in his theories), but you can blame Satre for an opportunistic psychobabble that was, in all likelihood, designed to conceal the crapper parts of his theories.] 

And now to Dune.  I've never read the book, but I have seen parts of the mini-series and the David Lynch version which, yes yes, is not tops.  Now consider Jodorowsky's: Mick Jagger, Gloria Swanson, Orson Welles, Salvador Dali to act (with others I assume); Jean Giraud (Moebius) and HR Giger (later of Alien) to make it look great; Pink Floyd (hm) on sound; and ten hours for the whole thing to play out into.  I don't miss the movie because I'm certain it would be great.  I miss it because I'm certain it would have surprised.  Epic stories should be given more time to play out in (I'm concerned about The Watchmen adaptation) and they should retain some of the ambiguity that it's so easy to maintain on paper and so tempting to do away with on screen.  Plus, the talent lined up for this movie ostensibly went on to create the claustrophobic image of the future you see in Alien and the dismal, vertical noir you see in Blade Runner.  So, influential in the least. 

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