Tag Archives: Alejandro Jodorowsky

El Topo * Alejandro Jodorowsky (1970)

Yes, it took me a while to see this third Jodorowsky that my usual DVD rental has. No time for a film, did not feel like it or it was replaced and lost, but I finally did see it. “El Topo” is a Western, but not a straight-forward one. Jodorowsky again uses amateuristic splatter for violence and other elements which seem only to be there to shock. Also again is a spiritual undertone. El Topo (the main character, played by Jodorowsky himself) is a cowboy in black who seeks revenge for his murdered village. He has to find six foes that appear to be spiritual masters that (the evil?) mole (“topo”) fights and tries to overcome. On the other hand, El Topo has (again) Christ-like elements, so perhaps the situation is the other way around (the spiritual masters are heresies). It is not unlikely that the director created this ambiguity on purpose. Like the other two films of Jodorowsky that I saw “El Topo” is interesting in some elements, dated in others, sometimes a little annoying. The films may not be masterpieces in my eyes, but I do suggest you watch them at some point since they are classics in the history of film.

The Holy Mountain * Alejandro Jodorowsky (1973)

Another very strange, Jodorowsky film in which he again seems to do his utmost to shock/provoke. The film is presented as a spiritual journey with a mishmash of alchemical, Kabbalistic, Eastern (Tantric?) and astrological symbolism, sexuality and taboos and with a relatively large role for Gurdjieff’s enneagram (the film appears to be based on a book of a student of Gurdjieff). Jodorowsky created some elaborate stages with rotating rooms with surrealistic, spiritual imaginary. The constant referral to yet another spiritual system tends to become weary after a while, but especially the Kabbalah part looks nice. In the beginning of the film, we are presented with Christ-like figure. Later he appears to be one of nine persons (the others are introduced in a shorter way) who are recruited by “the alchemist” (played by Jodorowsky himself) for a journey to the holy mountain where the nine immortals live. Again there is a massive amount of scenes that do or do not seem to have much to do with eachother and one scene is even weirder than the next. “The Holy Mountain” is another weird trip, interesting, especially for its time, and more enjoyable than “Sante Sangre” in my opinion.

Santa Sangre * Alejandro Jodorowsky (1989)

However not as weird as I expected (or hoped), “Santa Sangre” is a nicely strange film. We follow a circus with (of course) strange characters. Jumping back and forth in time, the story appears to be mostly about “Fenix” who used to be “the boy magician”, but his experiences in the circus got him into a madhouse. The film is a bit of a collection of separate scenes with a red thread acting as a story. There are some slightly horrorish scenes (amateuristic blood splattering), a few ‘shocking’ elements (perhaps in 1989) and some nice findings. Overall not really a masterpiece in my opinion, but at least more interesting than the average Hollywood production.