Alejandro Jodorowsky

"If you've never seen one of his movies, they're difficult to explain. You could start by throwing together Sergio Leone, Luis Buñuel, Hieronymus Bosch, and Buddha, and perhaps spiking their Kool-Aid for good measure. They're filled with wild beasts, cosmic symbolism, freaks, naked women and spiritual masters. Where else, for example, could you find a re-enactment of the conquest of Latin America with costumed frogs and chameleons?" - Steve Rose (The Guardian, 2009)

Alejandro Jodorowsky

Director / Screenwriter / Actor / Composer / Production Designer
(1929- ) Born February 7, Tocopilla, Tocopilla, II Región, Chile

Key Production Countries: Mexico, France
Key Genres: Avant-garde/Experimental, Surrealist Film, Satire, Psychological Drama, Fantasy, Hybrid Western
Key Collaborators: Roberto Viskin (Producer), Rafael Corkidi (Cinematographer)

"Filmmaking for him is only one means of exploration: he has also directed avant-garde theater and written plays and books, as well as numerous comic scripts for the French artists Moebius. With merely seven films under his belt, three of which are first-rate cult classics, he has left an indelible mark on world cinema... Spiritual themes are embodied in often shocking imagery of blood, nudity, skinned and gutted animals, real cripples, and psychiatric patients." - Dejan Ognjanovic (501 Movie Directors, 2007)
"Alejandro Jodorowsky became, for a brief moment in 1970-71, the darling of the New York countercultural cognoscenti with El Topo. He wrote, directed, scored and starred in the movie, which is equal parts Sergio Leone-style Western, grisly biblical rewrite and Federico Felliniesque freak show." - Jessica Winter (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)
"Born in 1929 in Chile to Russian-Jewish immigrants who owned a dry-goods store, Alejandro Jodorowsky seems an unlikely candidate to become one of the godfathers of the American midnight-movie scene. But essentially every turn in his career has been unlikely, a career that has found Jodorowsky taking on the roles of director, screenwriter, author, actor, cartoonist, editor, artist, composer, mime, guru, mystic, and tireless self-promoter." - Keith Phipps (Allmovie)
"Venerated by cult cinema enthusiasts while dismissed by most other critics, the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky present strange and magical visions that are not easily categorised or understood. Informed by a lifetime of spiritual journey, Jodorowsky’s cinematic output is filled with violently surreal images and a hybrid blend of mysticism and religious provocation. His completed films are few in number (only six features to date, two of which he has subsequently disowned), and are typically associated with the youth counterculture movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, especially the “head film” subgenre and the “midnight movie” phenomenon." - David Church (Senses of Cinema, 2007)
"Jodorowsky made his first film, an avant-garde adaptation of the surrealist play Fando y Lis, on a shoestring budget in Mexico in 1967, but he earned his place in movie cultdom in 1971, when he arrived in New York carrying the single print of his second movie, the surrealistic Zen western bloodfest, El Topo." - Damen Love (Bright Lights Film Journal, 2008)
"No director in Hollywood has any control. They are diplomatic. They are companies. They need a bathroom. The company makes a bathroom. The director is an employee of the stars. I think that stars for me are the cancer of the art. That will be finished one day. Also theater owners are cancer because they want to make the world their business. That exists like an amusing fantasy but the art of movie is very difficult to find." - Alejandro Jodorowsky (Film Comment, 2012)
"Most directors make films with their eyes; I make films with my testicles." - Alejandro Jodorowsky
TSPDT Guide
Recommended
Santa Sangre (1989)
Worth a Look
La Cravate (1957), Fando y Lis (1968)
Approach with Caution
El Topo (1970) , The Holy Mountain (1973)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    The Holy Mountain
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