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Documenting an unfilmed ‘Dune’ and its influence

The film about Alejandro Jodorowsky (above, and right, with Jean “Moebius” Giraud) includes Chris Foss’s artwork (top).
The film about Alejandro Jodorowsky (above, and right, with Jean “Moebius” Giraud) includes Chris Foss’s artwork (top).David Cavallo (above); Chris Foss (top); Sony Pictures Classics

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JODOROWSKY’S DUNE

Is Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “Dune” the most influential movie never made?

Late in the lively, anecdote-strewn documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” director Frank Pavich enumerates the ways. The swordfights in “Star Wars,” the cyborg POV in “The Terminator,” the galaxy-spanning opening shot of “Contact”—all were prefigured in the massive “Dune” storyboard book that circulated through studio suites in the mid-1970s. The core creative team all went on to work on 1979’s “Alien,” with H. R. Giger’s designs for the creatures and sets dictating the dark look of movie science fiction for decades to come.

Without Jodorowsky’s “Dune,” no “Blade Runner,” no “Matrix”? Pavich makes a fascinating case, but his movie’s much better at making you wish Jodorowsky’s version—“a massive asteroid that just missed Earth,” in the words of one onlooker—had come to fruition.

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