Friday, July 21, 2006

Jodorowsky's Cult Films Finally To DVD!

After years in circulation only as bad-quality bootlegs, El Topo (1970), The Holy Mountain (1973) and his 1968 debut Fando y Lis, the controversial cult films of Alejandro Jodorowsky will be finally available on DVD, as Allen Klein's Abkco Films now announces.

Klein, who has a reputation of a mean operator, is no stranger to controversy himself: as his capacity as the manager of both The Rolling Stones and The Beatles (after the death of Brian Epstein), Klein eventually managed to alienate both bands and their inner circle. Court cases ensued. As for Jodorowsky's films, Klein has sat for years on them, refusing to give rights to their distribution in any format. (And I heard that he also owns the rights to ? & The Mysterians' music, which is the reason their classic '96 Tears' won't be heard on CD!) Apparently, an agreement has now been made.

As for the films themselves, it's quite hard to give a comprehensible description of any of them. Think of Luis Buñuel's surrealism combined with the exuberance of Federico Fellini, with some David Lynch thrown in, and you are not nearly anywhere close. El Topo could be faintly called a psychedelic spaghetti western with mystical, occult and grotesque overtones. This cult film gave an initial spark to the "Midnight Movies" phenomenon, receiving praises from such people as John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The Holy Mountain is even a deeper mystical quest, featuring at the end of it an example of the Brechtian "breaking of the fourth Wall" when the protagonists find out they are characters in a movie: "Lights -- camera -- this is Maya". Fando y Lis, Jodorowsky's first film incited a riot at Acapulco film festival 1968, and the director was nearly deported from Mexico for his troubles, echoing the experiences of another lover of controversy, Luis Buñuel.

Jodorowsky also worked for the planned mid-70s version of Frank Herbert's sci-fi epic Dune. H.R. Giger, best known for Alien, was supposed to create film's designs. This version eventually fell through, and Dune was finally filmed by David Lynch in 1984 -- becoming the biggest flop of his career. Alongside his film career Jodorowsky is also known as the scriptwriter of Jean "Moebius" Giraud's Incal comics, another feast for the fans of Jodorowsky's psychedelic-mystical style.

And finally, here is info about Jodorowsky's planned "metaphysical spaghetti gangster film", King Shot, starring Marilyn Manson and Nick Nolte and to be filmed in Mexico.

(Click here if you can't see the clip above)

More Jodorowsky @ YouTube:

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