Tuesday, May 01, 2007
May Day with Jodorowsky
Today is the big day!
After thirty years or more of wrangling, ABKCO films releases the big box set of Alejandro Jodorowsky's films including El Topo and Holy Mountain. Once touted by people like John and Yoko, Jodorowsky's films have been more talked about than seen since the brouhaha with rights began, so this package brings these stories once more to a wide audience.
How to describe them? Or even Jodorowsky himself? One of the later surrealists, he dedicated himself to using art for both psychological and spiritual means as well as artistic. His films explore the ways we encounter the disruptions of life on a grand scale. His obsessions with mystic visions and physical deformity bring a strange ambience to his surreal cinematic works, like a strange melding of Todd Browning and Maya Deren. El Topo explores mysticism through the spaghetti western (and along the way critiques the construction of masculinity in Western culture) while Holy Mountain dives even deeper into the mystic to confront the horrors of modern life with a surrealistic spin that anticipates the complaisant acceptance of post-modernism (and this in the mid-1970s!).
The box also includes the seldom seen Fando y Lis as well as the soundtracks for both of the better known films. The images are crisp and clear and will be a revelation to those who have only seen the films via third generation bootlegs or much-worn 35mm. The films still pack a whallop* even all these years later. Vision is such a rare quality.
*Gentle viewers may want to be warned that films from this time period did not have the same RSPCA/ASPCA requirements. Much of the animal carnage is not simulated, which can be rather gruesome.
On an unrelated note, Elena continues her Wombat spoofing at Humorous Maxiumus. Go check out her comics for a good chuckle (any day!).