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Welcome To The World Of Alejandro Jodorowsky....,
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This review is from: The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky (Fando y Lis / El Topo / The Holy Mountain) (DVD)
"There was a riot, they had to rush me in a car where i was laying down, hiding, because people literally wanted to kill me"
- Alejandro Jodorowsky, commenting on the events following the first screening of FANDO Y LIS at the 1968 Acapulco film festival.
Following SANTA SANGRE, I really wanted to see more of Alejandro Jodorowsky's work. The interviews and documentaries on the 2nd DVD of SANTA SANGRE were describing him as being a genius, but a very difficult person to work with. Alejandro never considered himself as a "Film Maker" because he doesn't make movies for the public, for money, fame or recognition, for him its really just a way to express himself, for him its art, nothing more. He said he makes movies when he have something to say, something to express.
Dennis Hopper makes an appearance in one of the documentaries for SANTA SANGRE, explaining the influences Alejandro and his films had on the American public and the Hollywood community, according to him, Jodorowsky's was a master but a tremendous manipulator as well, very hard to work with and admitted that he wasn't even sure if he liked the man or not. He did admitted that when Jodorowsky's famous western EL TOPO came out in the 70's, it was considered by many as being "The best film ever made" Nothing less! and not only by the public but also among Hollywood's movie community as well, actors, directors and producers. Unfortunately, Jodorowsky's temper and working methods made a lot of people extremely angry, which resulted in him and his films being banned from Hollywood for several years. John Lennon was the one who pushed for EL TOPO to be seen by the public, soon after, everyone wanted to know Jodorowsky.
EL TOPO was shown on the big screen for several months. The film premiered on December 17, 1970 and ran continuously seven days a week until the end of June 1971. That was the beginning of the midnight movie phenomena in the 70's. The film was distributed across the United States with the assistance of Allen Klein, manager of The Beatles, whit whom Jodorowsky's had several fights and arguments in the past, that is why none of his films weren't available for distributions in the US and were very hard to find. The Movie DUNE directed by David lynch was originally suppose to be made by Jodorowsky, but apparently what he wanted for the movie was impossible and sometimes too unrealistic, to the point that most collaborators to the project backed off. When the producers heard that Jodorowsky's film might be somewhere between 3 and 14 hours they got scared, and almost all of them backed off from the project, giving the directing duty to David Lynch instead, with a different script. Thats too bad!
THE HOLY MOUNTAIN period was when a lot of people got angry, because following the success EL TOPO, expectations were very high. A lot of people were disappointed by the film's concept and imagery. This is when Jodorowsky started being labeled as a heretic weirdo. For me, THE HOLY MOUNTAIN is one of the weirdest films'i've seen, but does have quite a few pleasant and unexpected elements, magic!
This box set of Alejandro Jodorowsky's films is a very good deal! It contains 6 discs: FANDO Y LIS, EL TOPO, THE HOLY MOUNTAIN, LA CRAVATE and the soundtracks for both EL TOPO and THE HOLY MOUNTAIN. Also, all DVD's have special features as well with more interviews and extra content. The box set also includes THE JODOROWSKY CONSTELLATION, which is a great documentary about Alejandro himself, the tarots and his lectures. As listed in a few reviews here, the only downside to this collection, is of course the absence of SANTA SANGRE. But after buying and watching both sets, I now understand why it was made that way, adding SANTA SANGRE and all of its special features to this set would've been too much. In fact, I think it would've been a mistake .Considering the price of this box set, which is still very cheap, if everything related to Jodorowsky's work would've been there, there would've been nothing else after that!