Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The 4th Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Films Beyond Definition - El Topo (1970) - Alejandro Jodorowsky

It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to El Topo. How do you describe a film whose scope stretches one’s imagination as far metaphorically as the titular protagonist’s quest for enlightenment? Alejandro Jodorowsky, the Chilean psycho-magical one-man-band (he writes, directs, produces, stars in the lead role and composes the musical score), through the heavy use of imagery and symbolism, deconstructs the typical Western archetypal tropes (in many ways one of the first Acid Westerns). Jodorowsky does it so well in fact that it remains a deliriously entertaining, sexy and at times outrageously funny film, despite his bucking of traditional genre trends. In the process of this deconstruction he turns the genre on its head, showing the fantasy of violent delights as an illusory pursuit, that self-discovery is to be attained a life of pious modesty, meditation and, should it come down to it, martyrdom. Indeed, if I may be allowed to make a personal confession, it is a major influence on my own upcoming short film. Many of Jodo’s oeuvre, including his recent film The Dance Of Reality, follow the same line as El Topo, and the man himself, at eighty-seven years old, remains set upon, through his psychomagic and art, his own pursuit of enlightenment. 

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