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‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’: Diverting story of a wild movie never made

'Jorodowsky's Dune' reveals imagery created for aborted film including this drawing by Chris Foss.

"Jorodowsky's Dune" reveals imagery created for the aborted film, including this drawing by Chris Foss.

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Sony Pictures Classics presents a documentary directed by Frank Pavich. In English, Spanish, French and German with English subtitles. Running time: 90 minutes. No MPAA rating. Opens Friday at the Music Box Theatre.

Updated: April 29, 2014 6:11AM

‘I wanted to do a movie that would give the people who took LSD at that time the hallucinations that you get with that drug but without the hallucinating,” beams Alejandro Jodorowsky in “Jodorowsky’s Dune.”

Frank Savich’s diverting documentary lets the 85-year-old filmmaker revisit a saga from the mid-’70s: his stellar two-year failure to adapt Frank Herbert’s “Dune” for the screen. The maverick director of “El Topo” (1970) and “The Holy Mountain” (1973) disconcerted Hollywood execs with his wacko forecast that his “Dune” might run 12 or 20 hours. Long after the initial backers backed out, David Lynch’s film of the 1965 sci-fi novel came out in 1984.

The visual leftovers of Jodorowsky’s folly are 3,000 drawings by Chris Foss, H.R. Giger and Jean “Moebius” Giraud. The oral history mostly comes from the auteur-cum-raconteur himself, interviewed in his Paris apartment. He courted Mick Jagger, Udo Kier and Pink Floyd. Salvador Dali insisted on helicopter, a burning giraffe and $100,000 per hour. Jodorowsky promised Orson Welles gourmet meals from a Paris restaurant.

In 2000 Jodorowsky accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Underground Film Festival, a year after Savich there screened his raw debut documentary “N.Y.H.C.” about hardcore bands like Sick of It All and Agnostic Front. Kurt Stenzel from Six and Violence scores “Jodorowsky’s Dune” with a nicely weirdo hum.

Savich overlooks Jodorowsky’s more out-there views: “Theater owners are cancer,” “All American pictures are U.S. propaganda,” “I will kill Spielberg.” For the theater, he proposed: “Abduct a military man and tie him to a clergyman and then tie a dog to them.”

Fortunately, Savich focuses on a different work, one set in the year 10,191 — the “Dune” never made by the director who once called the cosmos God’s “LSD trip.”

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