Saturday, March 15, 2014

Alejandro "Jodorowsky's Dune" and new film "The Dance of Reality" at Sundance Cinema: April 25 - May 1 & SIFF Cinema: May 2 - 14 | The Grand Illusion Cinema: Jun 20 - 26

After decades of absence from cinema, the Chilean alchemist of the wondrous and absurd returns! This of course is Alejandro Jodorowsky, creator, author and actor in such underground classics of Magickal, allegorical, psychedelic cinema in the 70's and 80's as "El Topo", "The Holy Mountain" and "Santa Sangre". As well as author of the groundbreaking, cosmic, comedic, operatic grandiosity that are his comic book collaborations with Jean Giraud aka Mœbius, most notably that of "The Incal". Just last week the New York Times Sunday magazine heralded Jodorowsky's return with a lengthy feature and interview, "The Psychomagical Realism of Alejandro Jodorowsky". After having seemingly disappeared from the world of filmmaking -- his "King Shot" of some years ago was abandoned due to difficulty securing funding -- this past year Cannes hosted the double-hitter of both a narrative and documentary from his particular Psychomagical Universe Jodorowsky's newest, “The Dance of Reality” premiered to enthused reviews in both the Guardian, "La Danza de la Realidad is a Triumphant Return: Mixing Autobiography, Politics, Torture and Fantasy to Exuberant, Moving Effect" and The Los Angeles Times', "Chile's Onetime Cult King Still the Wizard of Weird: At 84 He Still has More Movies to Make". From A.O. Scott's New York Times review, in which me calls the film "something very close to a masterpiece", it appears the director has lost none of his touch for transgressive lyricism, his return to cinema watching like a deeply personal and surreal "Family Memoir in a Dreamscape: ‘The Dance of Reality,’ Jodorowsky’s Comeback Film".

Almost a year later, it finally had it's North American premier at SXSW this month and is to be screened in the Summer calendar at Seattle's Grand Illusion Cinema the week of June 20 - 26th. Closer on the horizon, opening April 25th at Seattle's Sundance Cinema with a run at SIFF Cinema the week after, the documentary on one of the great unmade films of the sci-fi golden age of the late-70's/80's; "Jodorowsky's Dune". This being another preposterously audacious project involving everyone from effects by Dan O'Bannon and Douglas Trumbull, to Mœbius and H.R. Giger in it's production designs, to a cast consisting of Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dalí and Gloria Swanson, to a soundtrack supplied by Pink Floyd, Magma and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Even in pre-production the film ran significantly over budget, Frank Herbert recalling that Jodorowsky's script would result in a 14-hour movie, stating that "It was the size of a phonebook". It's producer and financier, Arthur P. Jacobs died before the film could be completed, the rights were then sold to Dino DeLaurentiis for what would become David Lynch's own taking of liberties with the source material (significantly less than we would have seen from Alejandro!) in his peculiar, divisive, proto-Steampunk adaptation of the book. The reviews for this documentary assemblage of accounts and materials from the production have called it "A Wildly Entertaining Look At The Most Ambitious Film Never Made" in the pages of Salon, “Jodorowsky’s Dune”: The Sci-Fi Classic that Never Was" and Twitch Film's established enthusiasm for all things Alejandro is given abundant space in the two-part, "Jodorowsky's Dune Delightfully Journeys Into The Brilliance That Might Have Been".