Jodorowsky’s Dune – Down the Rabbit Hole

Jodorowsky’s Dune follows his attempt to bring the novel Dune to the cinema screen. It has sparked a huge journey down the rabbit hole for me. Along the way I’ve discovered artists and stories I didn’t know anything about.

The science fiction novel Dune is one that I’d never gotten around to reading. It’s regarded as a classic but until I watched this movie I had not read the book. Similarly Moebius is a hugely influential artist whose work I admired, but I had not actually read any of his books.

I’ve been falling headlong down the rabbit hole, investigating and discovering various works mentioned in the film. Each avenue I head down leads me on to more and more discoveries. I intend to cover each of these individually in more depth in later posts. For now though, if you’d like to join me down the rabbit hole, Jodorowsky’s Dune is a good entry point.

I am a huge fan of documentary filmmaking. It is similar to my love of reading biographies of artists and musicians. It gives such a great glimpse into the life and work of creative individuals.

Jodorowsky is a fascinating character. He is a true artistic visionary in the way that only a Frenchman can pull off. He is passionate and wildly eccentric. And he has a tendency to shoot from the hip which obviously gets him in trouble. This seems to be a major factor in why his film version of Dune never made it into production. Hollywood just did not know how to handle this man.  

What Jodorowsky did manage to do, was to corral and inspire a group of artists. These insanely talented individuals were his “Spiritual Warriors.”  H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, and Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud worked on pre-production art and storyboards.

As a Director, Jodorowsky was able to draw people into his world and vision. In the same way that Walt Disney inspired his artists, Jodorowsky seems to have been able to draw great work out of people. He attracted many like minded creatives onto the project, then he fuelled them to create some of the best work of their careers.

His cast included Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, David Carradine and even Salvador Dali whom he lured with the promise of being the highest paid actor of all time. He had Dan O’Bannon on board for visual effects. The only thing O’Bannon had done up to that point was Dark Star, and he went on to have an incredible career.

Check out my first piece of Dune inspired artwork here

Caution: Making recommendations to people is a bit of a minefield. Over hype something and you can ruin the person’s experience of it. Under-sell it and they won’t bother to track it down. Having said that, I’m going to use this blog to gently nudge you in the direction of some stuff that I believe is worth some consideration.