The sands of inspiration.
I recently finished the first three books of Frank Herbert’s “Dune” series. I consider the first novel, Dune, to be essential science fiction reading. Herbert builds an incredibly rich world without ever really telling you what that world is, but it all comes together in an intricately woven tapestry of awesome. Nowadays I use the Bene Gesserit litany against fear without irony… mostly when I’m on a plane and we hit turbulence, because that scares the ever-loving hell out of me.
I enjoy the 1984 Dune movie, too. It’s not the greatest film in the world, but I find it entertaining. The designs alone are enough to get me invested in this strange universe. I may also have a serious crush on Lady Jessica in that movie.
With all this sand on my brain, I recently watched a documentary about a movie that was never made. “Jodorowsky’s Dune” is about an eccentric director’s quest to make the first adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic. As we were watching it together, my wife summed this experience up in one sentence, “Everyone in this movie is insane.”
Love him or hate him, Jodorowsky is passionately creative. He has this impish smile whenever he talks about his ideas and, for a man in his mid-80s, gets very animated when describing them to a captive listener. He talks about his methods for inspiring his collaborators, for finding the right people to work with him instead of for him, and motivating them to be the best at their art without compromising their own visions to meet his. That kind of enthusiasm about the creative process, and working with kindred spirits, is infectious. I highly recommend this movie whether you’ve seen or read Dune (as many of the people in this film had never done either, too) because their level of passion will inspire you. (There is one part of the movie, near the end, that is akin to hearing your grandparent casually drop an N-word without realizing what they’re saying, but otherwise it’s a lovely film.)
Dune is awesome. You should read it.