The greatest film never made

Jodorowsky's "Dune" is brought back to life

"Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune: an Exhibition of a Film of a Book that Never Was" has just opened at the Drawing Room Gallery in east London (ends 25 October). Taking the cult Chilean film-maker's unsuccessful 1976 attempt at an adaptation of Frank Herbert's science-fiction novel as its departure point, the show assembles apocalyptic works by the likes of Vidya Gastaldon and Matthew Day Jackson to explore what the curator calls "a parallel cinematic world".

Jodorowsky's Dune has a decent claim to being the greatest film never made. That it aimed to pool the talents of Pink Floyd, Orson Welles, Mick Jagger and visual artists including H R Geiger (who later worked on Ridley Scott's Alien), Moebius and Chris Foss would be good enough. That Jodorowsky wanted to cast Salvador Dalí as "Emperor of the Universe", only for Dalí to insist on being paid $100,000 an hour so that he could "earn more than Greta Garbo", tips the balance even further in its favour.

But what about Tarkovsky's never-started film of Hamlet? Or Darren Aronofsky's proposed take on Batman? Or Nick Cave's time-travelling Gladiator sequel? Feel free to suggest your own additions to the canon in the comment box below.

Then take a look at Toby Litt's encomium on science fiction from this week's issue.

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"On Crutches" and "At Thirty Three"

Two poems by Joe Dunthorne.

On Crutches


Are you trying to say
you never leapt from a spinny chair
into the backing singer’s arms
at the gender-neutral barber’s soft launch
yelling “for I am the centrifuge,
all densities find kin within me” at which point
she – ha! – totally caught you
then whispered something tender to your charming,
harmless mole and next thing
it was dawn in the playpark as you shoulder-rolled
in dismount from the tyre’s ecliptic swing
– shoeless, by now, you maniac – coming down weird
and hard on your ankle which shivered
but did not crack – ha! – ha! – and so, in fact,
I have no fucking idea
how you hurt yourself – probably in the shower –
you horrid, impossible man.

 

At thirty-three

I finally had the dream
where I made love to my mother.
I kept saying you are my mother
and she said I absolutely am
then she phoned my father
and told him everything.

 

Joe Dunthorne’s new novel, The Adulterants, will be published in February. His poems are published in Faber New Poets 5.

This article first appeared in the 25 May 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Why Islamic State targets Britain

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