Alejandro Jodorowsky

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posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 12:38 PM
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Any fans here? I know there has to be some.

If you don't know who Jodorowsky is he's a man who has basically done everything. He's done theater, written novels, studied mime with Marcel Marceau, worked in comics and is most known for directing films. His most well known are the amazing movies El Topo, Holy Mountain and Santa Sangre. As a director, Jodorowsky isn't like most. He rarely uses known actors and tries not to use actors at all, but rather people he finds.

His movies, especially El Topo and Holy Mountain, are a mix of allegory, surreal, beautiful and disturbing imagery, philosophy, metaphysics and religion. His movies are so dense with evocative imagery that they can be fatiguing, but it's worth it to experience films that are so unique. I think anyone who complains about Hollywood should see them, because you'll either fall in love or you'll appreciate the mundane Hollywood fare more. If you're looking for something new and/or you love the strange and surreal you owe it to yourself to look him up. Think David Lynch's Eraserhead with color and a strong philosophical bent.

JUST SO YOU KNOW, Jodorowsky's films are filled with nudity, both female and male, sacrilegious imagery, deformed actors (though I don't believe they're being used exploitationally) and many other things that some people will find unpleasant.

Here's a brief run down of his big three. I've omitted quite a bit of the plot to keep things fresh for those who choose to seek the movies out, though they're not really the kind of movies that can be spoiled:

1. El Topo- An allegoric western that first follows a gunslinger who is convinced by a woman to take on the four master master gunslingers that reside in a desert. Each represent a different religion or philosophy. In its second part, the gunslinger tries to help the deformed and inbred outcasts escape the cave they've been exiled to by going into the wildly debauched town nearby to beg. This is considered the first "midnight movie" and was championed by people like John Lennon and Roger Ebert.

2. Holy Mountain- The film at first follows a man referred to as The Thief who wakes up and slowly learns about money, alcohol and religion. His lust for gold takes him to the top of a giant tower where he meets a man known as The Alchemist. The Alchemist tells him he can turn human excrement into gold, but that more importantly he can offer enlightenment, turning the excrement that is The Thief into something more. There are others who are on the journey to enlightenment, the journey to conquer The Holy Mountain, and the bulk of the movie is short vignettes of the seven others, each representing the planets of the solar system. The final part of the movie is the intense struggle up the Holy Mountain. This is probably my favorite of his. It's also his strangest.

3. Santa Sangre- Jodorowsky's take on the horror film, the movie's first part involves a young boy who is part of a circus. His mother is part of a cult that worships a girl who was raped and had her arms cut off and his father is an adulterous knife thrower. Circumstances lead the boy to growing up in an insane asylum until he is reunited with his mother. I don't want to say too much. This is probably Jodorowsky's most normal film. It has a strong and straightforward narrative and the imagery isn't as insane as Holy Mountain or El Topo's. Still, it's an incredible and at many times beautiful looking movie. SANTA SANGRE IS CURRENTLY ON NETFLIX INSTANT.

I genuinely can't recommend Jodorowsky enough.




posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 12:50 PM
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For those of you who are Jodorowsky fans, I want to ask what you think the connection between each character and their planet is in Holy Mountain. Some are obvious but some I can not figure out. All the planets have connection with Greek gods and the traits of those gods are reflected. Jodorowsky said that the characters reflect the most negative aspects of their planets Here's what I have figured out so far:

Venus: Negative aspects of love and sex. The man has dozens of wives who he immediately gets pregnant and then neglects. Has a company dedicated to making people artificially beautiful.

Mars: Weapons manufacturer, survives on war.

Saturn: Saturn, also known as Cronus in the Greek myths, was known for devouring children. The kids we see being trained for war and hate can be seen as being devoured.

Pluto: The architect who proposes a building made up of rooms the size and shape of coffins. Pluto was the underworld god and this character can be seen as constructing a type of Hell.

That leaves Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus. I'd also love to hear thoughts on what religions and philosophies the four gunslingers (and the animals they have with them) in El Topo represent. In the commentary, I think Jodorowsky identifies two:

-The man who lives with his mother and builds the delicate geometrical structures is Sufism

-The final master with the butterfly net is Daoism.



posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 12:51 PM
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I actually saw El Topo quite a while ago, but oh my, that movie is something else. He throws all of that conventional movie rubbish out the window and what's left is an artistic masterpiece.
I would recommend El Topo to any film-buffs out there. That movie is ridiculously layered.

Thanks for this thread, it actually reminded me how much I still want to see his other work. Might give Holy Mountain a watch soon


Edit: The boy in El Topo is his son if i remember correctly?
edit on 20-8-2011 by dyllels because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 12:58 PM
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El Topo and The Holy Mountain changed my LIFE!



posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 01:03 PM
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You have to respect a Renaissance men, seems like people like that are fewer and far between now days.



posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by dyllels
I actually saw El Topo quite a while ago, but oh my, that movie is something else. He throws all of that conventional movie rubbish out the window and what's left is an artistic masterpiece.
I would recommend El Topo to any film-buffs out there. That movie is ridiculously layered.

Thanks for this thread, it actually reminded me how much I still want to see his other work. Might give Holy Mountain a watch soon


Edit: The boy in El Topo is his son if i remember correctly?
edit on 20-8-2011 by dyllels because: (no reason given)


If you loved the convention smashing of El Topo, then you NEED to see Holy Mountain. Compared to Holy Mountain, El Topo is almost straight forward. And yes, the boy is his son. The picture and stuffed bear he had him bury were actually the boy's, actually given to him by his mother. Apparently, Jodorowsky later apologized years later for making the child do stuff like that in the movie by giving him a new bear and saying some variation on the first line, like, "You are seven years old. It is time to be a boy." Jodorowsky puts his sons in Santa Sangre too.


Originally posted by GoldenObserver
El Topo and The Holy Mountain changed my LIFE!


YES! I probably should mentioned that in my OP, but these can be life changing movies. I started learning about the Dao and Buddhism because of El Topo and while I still don't know much, I feel that I am better for the experiences.



posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 01:46 PM
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reply to post by GoldenObserver
 


I was so excited that someone else was changed by these movies that I completely forgot to ask: How and why were you changed by these movies?



posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 09:22 PM
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Wow, i thought i would never see a thread here about Mr. Jodo. You'll see, my first approach to him was through his books on psychomagic, later i read his autobiography, and THEN since he talks a lot about the movies on that book, i watched them. When I was young, I can recall El Topo being broadcasted on TV, but since it was "adult material" i couldn't watch it (he's chilean
but now he lives on Paris). I watched it just last year, and I was amazed about his storytelling capabilities. The guy's a genius! I want to watch the other ones, but I hadn't had any time to watch them, and surelly you need time to understand the whole movie as the artpiece it is. His work is not of "looking, good bye", you need to have time to apreciate every sign and every detail, because every detail actuali means something else than just what it seems

I really LOVED El Topo, it's one of those movies you don't have a freaking idea about what's going on or what's it's suppoused to mean till it ends!. Oh and about the little people and handicapped people on his movies, he says it's a way to show the audience that we're all equals.

Last year I saw him at the annual Chilean Book Fair, he's such a great guy... and you can't even realize he's on his 80s now, he looks like if he were just 50 or something. It's pretty funny and granpa-like, I'd love to have a cup of tea with him someday. He's coming for this year book fair too, and i'll be there again, for sure!



posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 01:14 AM
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reply to post by Caggy
 


Oh, wow, that's awesome. I'd love to meet him. Though, from his audio commentaries on the DVDs I have a feeling he might be hard to understand. I imagine getting to meet him in Chile meets you're both speaking native languages and communication would be pretty easy. Were the books you read by him good? I haven't checked out any of his writing, but I was trying to find his comic series Incal without much luck.

And I'd say just go ahead and watch his movies even if you don't understand them the first time through. Santa Sangre is really straightforward. Holy Mountain is something where if you try to interpret every single little thing he was trying to do it'll drive you nuts. I also know that he's fond of Luis Bunuel (another great surrealist, but with a much different, more muted style; in El Topo there's a bandit at the beginning who has a clear shoe fetish, this was a nod to Bunuel who shared the same fetish) and Bunuel would pride himself on putting things in his movies that had no meaning and would have fun watching his audience try to justify what they were seeing.

So, just go ahead and watch it. Then, if you're lucky enough to see him again at the book fair you'll know the man even better through his art.



posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 02:52 AM
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believe me, I seriously know him
. Not through his movies, but through his books and lectures! Sadly there's just a few ones in english, I was just searching on Amazon and I found Psychomagic and some of his books on Tarot, but nothing else... His autobiography is called "La Danza de la Realidad" (The dance of reality). Psychomagic is kinda new age stuff, but well, I can tell you that at least he had read some books on magics... i found a very funny quotation from Eliphas Levi's Dogma and Ritual in one of his books and laughed for hours. I like his approach to magic, because I see it in a way very close to his (that magic is 80% psychologic and 20% faith), and why not, because he had a lot of fun all of this years doing what he want to do!. I've also read Technoparents, a comicbook, that's very impressive and the first volume of The Incal. I haven't read further because the volumes are too big and I take them from the public library, that's not too far away from my house to take a bus but not too close to go walking without getting tired


The guy knows what he's doing and everything he does is within a purpose. I have La Montaña Sagrada and Santa Sangre on my movie queue list, i'm going to take them from the public library one of this days



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 12:16 AM
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For anyone who is interested, YouTube at some point started allowing nudity in videos as long as it's artistic. This has lead somebody to upload both "El Topo" and "Holy Mountain" in their entirety.

Again, these movies aren't a casual viewing experience. I haven't seen anything like them before or since.

Oh, and if it needs to be said: NSFW





Quality for both is decent, but they lose something watching it on Youtube.
edit on 4/5/2012 by SaulGoodman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 02:55 AM
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Jodorowsky is possible the most interesting man alive. I think I found The Holy Mountain after looking up lists of "psychedelic movies" on-line. And I saw El Topo as well, but haven't watched Santa Sangre yet.

The Holy Mountain was such a great experience. Basically, he's interested in using his films as a philosopher's stone that would transform the viewer. But when it came to the actors, he chose people who fit their roles. The rich guy was really rich, the lesbian was really a lesbian and so on. During the filming he gave them shrooms and put them through some extreme situations hoping that the actors would be transformed as their characters are transformed. The shaman/medicine-man they meet on the mountain top is a real shaman who Jodorowsky said to just do his thing to the actors for real. Before they went up there, he even claims he said "we'll go up that mountain and we'll find a wise man" and they did, and they did. He's had some good fortune to meet teachers in this life, mostly women, which is why he turned down his next movie project handed to him by the manager for The Beatles who wanted him to do a BDS&M movie. He owned the rights to The Holy Mountain and as revenge for Jodorowsky turning him down, he kept The Holy Mountain from being seen for like 30 years. During that time Jodorowsky gave illegal viewings of his own movie and distributed bootlegged copies.





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