Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Alejandro Jodorowsky

#1 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:15 am

Alejandro Jodorowsky Prullansky (1929 - )

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"My films are like clouds: their meaning keeps changing every minute."

Filmography

Features
Fando y Lis (1968)
El Topo (1970)
The Holy Mountain AKA The Sacred Mountain (1973)
Tusk (1980)
Santa Sangre (1989)
The Rainbow Thief (1990)
The Dance of Reality AKA La danza de la realidad (2013)
Endless Poetry AKA Poesía sin fin (2016)

Shorts
"La cravate" AKA "Les têtes interverties" AKA "The Transposed Heads" AKA "The Severed Heads" (1957)

Books
Albina and the Dog-Men AKA Albina y los hombres-perro by Alejandro Jodorowsky (2000)
Anarchy and Alchemy: The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky by Louise Brealey, Ed. (2007)
Where the Bird Sings Best by Alejandro Jodrowsky (2015)

Web Resources
1971 interview with Don Strachan, The Staff [link also includes 1971 review of El Topo by Jack Hirschman, a video interview, and more]
1988 interview with Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times
2007 interview with Xan Brooks, The Guardian
2008 interview with Damien Love, Bright Lights Film Journal
2012 transcript of Q&A at MoMA
2013 interview with Xan Brooks, The Guardian
2015 interview with Camilo Salas, VICE
2017 interview with Julia Yepes, Interview Magazine
2018 interview with Elianna Kan, The Paris Review

Forum Discussion
Anchor Bay: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Santa Sangre
King Shot (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 2009)

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#2 Post by cdnchris » Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:24 am

Mr Pixies wrote:discuss his movies and junk.

Was it just a rumor that the US rights for El Topo And Holy Mountain have gone back to Jodorowsky, and that they will be released soon? I can't find any information about it, I know someone mentioned it on the old board.
I saw a bootleg of El Topo (dubbed in English with what I think are Japanese subtitles, but widescreen). Watched it twice. Only have a vague idea as to what was going on :) The tape also has Holy Mountain and Santa Sangre, but I haven't gotten around to them yet. El Topo was absolutely CRAZY, though and I definitely wasn't prepared for it. The imagery is simple but amazingly disturbing, it was real uneasy to watch. Some of the stuff in this film, the gunmen, the cave people, EVERYTHING, just had me hooked. This film is just so wild. I'd defintely buy it on DVD, though, because the obvious dub drives me up the wall, unless that's how it's supposed to be. I assumed the film was originally in Spanish. I love it but I'll be damned it I really knew what was going on in it.

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#3 Post by swingo » Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:08 am

Jodorowsky came to M�xico to direct theater and after some controversial works, he got into filming. I personally don't like his style that much, his influence on Bu�uel was so annying at times, although I recognize him as a great director, I'm not very fond of his work.

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#4 Post by Pinback » Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:21 am

I read a great article in SFX a while back about the version of Dune that Jodorowsky was planning on making (with Dan O'Bannon...it's what he was doing between Dark Star and Alien). From what I read and the conceptual art that was reprinted...I think it would have been amazing. Shame it never happened.

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#5 Post by Mr Pixies » Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:45 am

I saw El Topo in spanish, which I don't understand, without subtitles, and I think I understood it. I thought it was great, and was even moved by it.
his influence on Bunuel was so annying at times
hmmm, like what?

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#6 Post by swingo » Fri Feb 18, 2005 12:15 pm

Mr Pixies wrote:
his influence on Bu�uel was so annying at times
hmmm, like what?
Damn, I ment the opposite, :P his influence of Bunuel.

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#7 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:50 pm

Pinback wrote:I read a great article in SFX a while back about the version of Dune that Jodorowsky was planning on making (with Dan O'Bannon...it's what he was doing between Dark Star and Alien). From what I read and the conceptual art that was reprinted...I think it would have been amazing. Shame it never happened.
Oh, I know! The creative brain trust he had on his version of Dune was staggering:

H.R. Giger to design the Harkonnen homeworld
Dali to play the Emperor of Dune
Moebius storyboarded the entire script
Pink Floyd to score the movie
Cast: David Carradine, Charlotte Rampling and Orson Welles

At any rate, my first exposure to Jodorowsky was El Topo -- crazy, crazy film but in a wonderfully brilliant way. I mean, just watching the first five minutes you know that you're seeing something created by a mad genius. It's interesting, in recent years, to see its influence on films like Perdita Durango and Renegade (aka Blueberry).

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#8 Post by bcsparker » Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:55 pm

While I admit Jodorowsky's style can be a little pretentious at times, I would suggest checking out The Holy Mountain. The opening sequence of that convinced me that he could've done a good job on Dune.
What's this about the rights reverting to Jodorowsky? Anybody have any details?

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#9 Post by milkcan » Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:44 pm

Here is a great article by Jodorowsky on his "Dune" project.

Let's not forget the sequel to "El Topo" that Jodorowsky is shooting with some of the cast members from the original as well as Marylin Manson. The whole rights issue seem stupid and should've been solved long ago.

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#10 Post by Astroman » Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:27 pm

There was talk on the Fantoma thread about Fando & Lis going out of print. I was lucky enough to snag a copy. I haven’t had time to watch it yet, but I checked out some of the feature-length doc on the disc, La Constellation Jodorowsky. It has several clips from both El Topo and Holy Mountain. Is it possible that there are new rights issues, separate from the Alan Klein dispute, that resulted in it going OOP? Could this mean an immanent release for Topo and Mountain?

I saw Santa Sangre many years ago, and have since picked up a used vhs copy. I ought to dig that out of its hiding place and give it another watch. Hauntingly weird, or weirdly haunting.
Last edited by Astroman on Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#11 Post by Mr Pixies » Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:06 pm

What's this about the rights reverting to Jodorowsky? Anybody have any details?
Someone here mentioned it, and I thought I heard something about it over at Ain't It Cool News, and I just found it.
Once the lights came on, Jodorowsky was once again brought to the stage and spoke briefly with the audience. He mentioned gaining virility from drinking elephant milk, and saving the life of an Elephant through only using chamomile oil, hair tonic, and hemorrhoid cream. The big bomb that Alejandro dropped on everyone was that he was in the midst of working on the North American re-releases of El Topo, and The Holy Mountain on DVD, now that his notorious feud with ABKO CEO and Beatles Manager Allen Klein, who had held the rights to his films for over 25 years. He also managed to mention that he is working on a new film entitled, �Kingshot�, with Nick Nolte, which should start filming in the new year.
I also read that Klien had the original negative destroyed.

I don't know about Fando Y Lis going out of print (I have it, nowhere near as enjoyable as El Topo, Holy Mountain, and Santa Sangre, but it's good), Anchor Bay's release of Santa Sangre has La Constellation Jodorowsky on it, I wonder if that has anything to do with it not being released in region 1 yet (has the Santa Sangre dvd come out yet in region 2 I think)


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#13 Post by Faux Hulot » Sat Feb 19, 2005 12:31 pm

Milk Can wrote:The whole rights issue seem stupid and should've been solved long ago.
Sure, except that it was based on a personal feud. I forget the exact details, something about Allen Klein thinking Jodorowsky was corrupting his daughter... can't find the quotes. To give you an idea of how deeply the resentments ran, here's a message the director distributed a few years ago:
Alejandro Jodorowsky wrote:Allen Klein insists to prevent my movies from being shown. Now he's trying to bring me into a trial for having shown my movies in some festivals and pirat copies. It would be good that all the people who admire my work demand life-time jail for Klein, under the charge of cultural murder. Killing a work of art is as monstruous as killing a human being. For 25 years now, Klein has prohibited the public to see El Topo and the Holy Mountain. He has destroyed the orginal negatives. It would be necessary to have a worldwide campaign against him and his crimes. Please translate this message in all possible languages and send it to as many people as you can. We will establish the existence of cultural crime against humanity. Allen Klein is a criminal, together with his accomplice lawyers. All of them deserve punishment and prison.
Edited by admin.

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#14 Post by bcsparker » Sat Feb 19, 2005 12:54 pm

DELETED. Thank you Faux.
Last edited by bcsparker on Sat Feb 19, 2005 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#15 Post by ben d banana » Sat Feb 19, 2005 1:26 pm

hardly the only feud w/ klein, a notorious dick. he also lays into him on la constellation jodorowsky i believe.

w/ santa sangre at 55% off from amazon uk i may not wait any longer for an r1 edition. i am desperately hoping for quality r1's of el topo and holy mountain as at least the first raro dvds are pretty crap, and those previous rumors were very encouraging (drewreiber where are you, didn't you have some fairly solid info?). luckily i've seen all three of these on the big screen (although holy mountain was shown w/ a reel out of place). i wish i could provide some worthwhile insights, but all i can say is i find them fascinating and absurd.

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#16 Post by bcsparker » Sat Feb 19, 2005 3:32 pm

Hey, if anyone is interested - I bought R1 DVD versions of The Holy Mountain and El Topo from Revok.com (Note to Mods: I'm not advertising or promoting boots, I'm just being helpful).
The guys that run the site have actually met Jodorowsky at several Toronto film festivals and I think they carry his blessing. The discs aren't bad. El Topo is Standard, while The Holy Mountain is widescreen. Check them out if you're really burning for a copy. (no pun intended)

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#17 Post by Miguel » Sat Feb 19, 2005 3:35 pm

ben d banana wrote:w/ santa sangre at 55% off from amazon uk i may not wait any longer for an r1 edition.
It's even cheaper at Play.com.
(If you're in Europe, that is.)

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#18 Post by Blissful Sinner » Sat Feb 19, 2005 4:21 pm

bcsparker wrote:Hey, if anyone is interested - I bought R1 DVD versions of The Holy Mountain and El Topo from Revok.com (Note to Mods: I'm not advertising or promoting boots, I'm just being helpful).
The guys that run the site have actually met Jodorowsky at several Toronto film festivals and I think they carry his blessing. The discs aren't bad. El Topo is Standard, while The Holy Mountain is widescreen. Check them out if you're really burning for a copy. (no pun intended)
Are these editions uncut? Please do tell with more information these DVDs.

Thanks.

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#19 Post by bcsparker » Sat Feb 19, 2005 5:42 pm

They are burned DVDs. Revok makes their own covers. They are ported over from Japanese laserdiscs. Consequently, genitalia is blurred out. This really doesn't get in the way of anything - I'm actually thankful for it in the scene in "Holy Mountain" when the Thief is being bathed. Like I said before, Holy Mountain is widescreen, but because of something in the transfer, it takes up the top half of the TV screen. It's still watchable, though. The audio on both films is English. El Topo has a pretty sub-standard dub (I recognize some of the voices). In Holy Mountain , Jodorowsky supplies his own voice.
They also offer a DVD of Santa Sangre, but I haven't gotten it.

http://www.revok.com

Check out their site. They have some good stuff.

Blissful, as far as uncut, I don't know. These movies came out before I was even a zygote. The violent parts sure seem bloody enough to me.

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#20 Post by milkcan » Mon Feb 21, 2005 1:58 am

5minutestolive.com's DVD edition of "El Topo" is worthwhile I think. From what I've read online, there is only about 30 seconds worth of footage removed (some frames with blood and wounds in them)- nothing substantial to the film's point or storyline is removed. As far as I can remember, none of the nudity was censored. The film was not in widescreen, but it was in Spanish with English subtitles. The quality is blurry but very watchable, and the subtitles are very much readable.

One thing though, this print of "El Topo" is taken from a "Forbidden Films" series (apparently) on the BBC 2 network- in the beginning there is an intro by a professor who talks about the film. Be forewarned, it is riddled with spoilers. If I remember correctly, fastword to at least 7 minutes on the disc's running time, or at least until you see the credits for this "intro." I suggest doing this for first time viewers, should they decide to purchase this version.

Also, this one from 5minutestolive.com not only has the "intro" mentioned above, but also a Jodorowsky TV Special that covers his films and interviews with him, as well as an exclusive interview with Jodorowsky conducted by several fans (in what looks like a hotel). (Although, you can read the transcript of the interview at 5minutes' webstie).

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#21 Post by bcsparker » Mon Feb 21, 2005 2:05 am

After reading Milk Can's comments, I would suggest going with the Revok version of El Topo. The English dub isn't bad. I just meant that I could recognize the voice actors from other films. But the image quality sounds better on the Revok version (essentially it's from one digital source to another). I don't really think any violence is cut out. I know the opening where he rides into the town is really bloody.

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#22 Post by bcsparker » Wed Mar 09, 2005 2:53 pm

Just letting everybody know that the Fantoma version of Fando Y Lis is not OOP. I just bought a copy from their website for $17.50 last week. It arrived today! Don't pay Amazon or Ebay prices!

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#23 Post by g30 » Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:01 pm

I'm thinking of ordering the Raro video re-mastered 2 disc set of El topo and Holy Mountain. Can someone please comment on the quality. I'm also worried that they will be released in R1 as soon as I order it.

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#24 Post by bunuelian » Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:24 pm

I rented Fando y Lis last night. It was my first exposure to Jodoworsky - I'd read nothing about him, and knew nothing about him, other than the vague discussions here. What a surprise! I had a headache at the end of the film - it was a good headache, like I had just been impregnated inside my mind, and needed to cut the baby out of my skull before dawn else I be overtaken by madness.

Contrary to the contrarian controversy here, Fantoma's site now definitively lists Fando y Lis as out of print, and you can no longer order it there:

The product you requested is currently not available.


Too bad. It's a good disc. A Criterion set of his films would quickly jump to the head of my shopping list.

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#25 Post by rumz » Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:18 am

bunuelian wrote:I rented Fando y LisIt was a good headache, like I had just been impregnated inside my mind, and needed to cut the baby out of my skull before dawn else I be overtaken by madness.
This is a Jodorowsky fan.

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