After a few failed attempts, The Doctor and I finally had a chance to watch a movie that I’ve been very excited about for some time: Jodorowsky’s Dune. Here’s the trailer:
Besides being a really wonderful documentary about a radical retelling of a story I’ve loved my whole life, it is also an exploration of a sort of genius that seems missing from today’s world: skating on the edge of insanity, blending Continental philosophy with art and literature and comics, finding and delivering meaning in unusual and sometimes delightful places.
I find Alejandro Jodorowsky inspiring for many reasons, not the least of which is his intense lifelong ability to simply ship prolifically – the man has published books, made films, collaborated with artists and scientists – but also his approach to his work, to The Work. He says two things in the documentary about his attempt at filming Dune that have stuck with me.
“Things come, you say yes. Things go away, you say yes.”
Jodorowsky’s approach is ever-progressive – not in a political way necessarily, but in terms of forward momentum. Even when Dune, what could have been a masterpiece, was canned, his response was Yes! If the world is a certain way, you must progress anyway – you must say yes! You must say yes even if you go on to change it. This approach shines positivity and momentum, two things I try to reflect upon and embrace in my own work, and my own thoughts. It encourages action, rather than reaction.
“Why not be ambitious?”
Alejandro is again responding to the documentarian’s questions about the failure of Dune, and even in the face of failure, he shows no regret or remorse. He does not wish that he had held back his ambition, that he had quieted his desires to make a consciousness-altering movie – he instead faces it with defiance and grit: why not be ambitious? Why be on this world if not to make world-changing things?
Jodorowsky’s Dune could have been great, and I do wish that it could have been completed, but the real thing I have taken from the documentary is an inspiration to have a little more Alejandro in my own life – to allow a little madness in around the edges, to allow myself to be ambitious and to grasp for great things, to make and discuss and get a little wild. To this, I say yes!