Noah & Jodorowsky's dune!

Glib Reviews of Recent DVD/Blu-Ray Releases.

“Aronofsky’s Noah” & “Jodorowsky’s Dune”

The last two films I have watched are Darren Aronofsky’s SCI-FI take on the story of the Ark building, “Noah,” and the documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” which is the story of how a pretty crazy sounding version of that novel I can never finish reading, almost but not quite got made.

Myself, I can’t hear the name “Noah” without thinking of the Bill Cosby sketch of the same name, where God indeed gets Noah to build an ark, and gather up all the animals. The Cosby version is funnier, but just barely.

Aronofsky’s laughs though, I think are not intentional. The whole fallen angels as rock men who help Noah get this completely insane sounding task done are ridiculous, and a clever plot device. If you are looking for “biblical accuracy” (sic) this is not your movie. If you are looking for a grim kind of alternately shouty/mumbly performance from Russell Crowe, then this might be your movie. It is terrible, but also entertaining in a camp kind of way that I was really not ready for, thus, I laughed pretty much throughout, what is supposed to be a sombre piece.

Jodorowsky’s Dune unfolds much more simply, organically, as we hear from the Director himself, and many of the surviving folk who also almost made what would have been a groundbreaking work, had it been able to survive being made. There are hints that even if the studios had given the green light to a Director they knew they would never be able to reign in, it may have failed, anyway. But what these great talents put together in pre production was really awesome.

I would love to read through one of those few remaining storyboard books. Giger, Dali, Foss, all working together with Jodo! Jebus, what could possibly go wrong? This doc is like a master class in letting your subject speak for itself. just by following a chronolgy of the film maker’s life, they give you the whole picture of how much one unfinished project actually changed all these people, and Hollywood, within a few years Dan O’Bannon, Giger would make Alien, and much of fellow edgy director David Lynch copped some of Jodorowsky’s designs. 

I think The Lynch Dune gets a bad rap, though. Jodorowsky’s Dune had it been made would have had just as much interference eventually, and like Dune would have been a film that the makers are depressed about. The Unfinished Dune will always be great, just like how the book apparently is, though I can never get more than 150 pages in, so  can’t say. I like the pages I have read as much as I imagine I would have liked Jodo’s take on it.

Somehow, I have linked Noah, and this doc in my mind as a double feature. Both films are about ambition, pride and the terrible cost those emotions can have on a person, or group of people. In the end, Noah is living with a lot of death, despite the promise of his family repopulating the world with simple stoics like the sons of Seth, rather than all those biker like sons of Cain, that ruined it for everyone, by wrecking the environment.  Whack a doodle Noah.

Noah - Directed by Darren Aronofsky

5.7687 lizard dogs outta 10

8.1111 insanely detailed art books posing as film treatments outta 10


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