In a rare example of inspired programming on behalf of the Hong Kong International Film Festival, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s new film The Dance of Reality was scheduled to play back-to-back with Frank Pavich’s inspiring documentary about the director’s failed attempt to bring Frank Herbert’s seminal science fiction opus to the big screen in the mid-1970s. Featuring interviews with many of the surviving members of the crew, the film tells how Jodorowsky seduced all number of creative visionaries, including Salvador Dali and Orson Welles (to act in the film), while assembling an army of “warriors” including Dan O’Bannon, Moebius, H.R. Giger and countless others to create a fantastic vision of the future.

Sadly, Jodorowsky was unable to find a Hollywood studio willing to take on this epic of surreal genius, and the various creative elements dispersed, only for their work to influence and appear wholesale in all number of high profile features of the ensuing decades. Star Wars, Alien, Flash Gordon, Raiders of the Lost Ark and even something as recent as Prometheus all include design elements that were conceived for Jodorowsky’s Dune, and while the story itself is somewhat tragic and incredibly bittersweet, Pavich takes us as close as humanly possible to experiencing what the great director’s film might have been like. The results are truly extraordinary and wholly inspiring for creative individuals of all callings.