We will see some clips and do some sharing of ideas on this famous cult director, we will focus on the works made in Mexico and Chile. Donation $5 to $10, to rent a projector and other expenses.
There are some clips here (the meetup posting) to take a look. Feel free to copy links to any related material or your clips to share in our gatherig and we will use them to spark conversation in our gathering.
A quick view on the creator:
EARLY VIDEO CLIP
France, Mexico (1953–1969) ( https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Alejandro_Jodorowsky&action=edit§ion=3&editintro=Template:BLP_editintro )
It was while in Paris that Jodorowsky began studying mime with Étienne Decroux and joined the troupe of one of Decroux's students, Marcel Marceau ). It was with Marceau's troupe that he went on a world tour, and wrote several routines for the group, including "The Cage" and "The Mask Maker". After this, he returned to theatre directing, working on the music hall comeback of Maurice Chevalier ) in Paris. In 1957, Jodorowsky turned his hand to filmmaking, creating Les têtes interverties (The Severed Heads), a 20-minute adaptation of Thomas Mann novella. It consisted almost entirely of mime, and told the surreal story of a head-swapping merchant who helps a young man find courtship success. Jodorowsky played the lead role. The director Jean Cocteau admired the film, and wrote an introduction for it. It was considered lost until a print of the film was discovered in 2006.
In 1960, Jodorowsky moved to Mexico, where he settled down in Mexico City ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico_City ). Nonetheless, he continued to return occasionally to France, on one occasion visiting the Surrealist ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrealism ) artist André Breton ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_Breton ), but he was disillusioned in that he felt Breton had become somewhat conservative in his old age. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-Church-6 ) Continuing his interest in surrealism, in 1962 he founded the Panic Movement ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_Movement ) along with Fernando Arrabal ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Arrabal ) and Roland Topor ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Topor ). The movement aimed to go beyond the conventional surrealist ideas by embracing absurdism. Its members refused to take themselves seriously, while laughing at those critics who did. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-Church-6 ) In 1966 he produced his first comic strip, Anibal 5, which was related to the Panic Movement. The following year he created a new feature film, Fando y Lis ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fando_y_Lis),[14 ] ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-empire-oct-09-14 ) loosely based on a play written by Fernando Arrabal ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Arrabal ), who was working with Jodorowsky on performance art ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Performance_art ) at the time. Fando y Lis premiered at the 1968 Acapulco ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acapulco ) Film Festival, where it instigated a riot amongst those objecting to the film's content, ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-Rosenbaum92-15 ) and subsequently it was banned in Mexico. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-Rosenbaum93-16 )
It was in Mexico City that he encountered Ejo Takata (1928–1997), a Zen Buddhist ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_Buddhism ) monk who had studied at the Horyuji and Shofukuji monasteries in Japan before traveling to Mexico via the United States in 1967 to spread Zen. Jodorowsky became a disciple of Takata and offered his own house to be turned into a zendo ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zendo ). Subsequently Takata attracted other disciples around him, who spent their time in meditation ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation ) and the study of koans ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koan).[17 ] ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-FOOTNOTEJodorowsky20052.E[masked] ) Eventually, Takata instructed Jodorowsky that he had to learn more about his feminine side, and so he went and befriended the English surrealist Leonora Carrington ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonora_Carrington ), who recently had moved to Mexico. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-FOOTNOTEJodorowsky[masked] )
The Holy Mountain
In 1970, Jodorowsky released the film El Topo ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Topo ), which sometimes is known in English as The Mole, ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-empire-oct-09-14 ) which he had both directed and starred in. An acid western ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_western ), El Topo tells the story of a wandering Mexican bandit and gunslinger ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunslinger ), El Topo (played by Jodorowsky), who is on a search for spiritual enlightenment, taking his young son along with him. Along the way, he violently confronts a number of other individuals, before finally being killed and being resurrected to live within a community of deformed people who are trapped inside a mountain cave. Describing the work, he stated that "I ask of film what most North Americans ask of psychedelic drugs. The difference being that when one creates a psychedelic film, he need not create a film that shows the visions of a person who has taken a pill; rather, he needs to manufacture the pill." ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-19 ) Knowing how Fando y Lis had caused such a scandal in Mexico, Jodorowsky decided not to release El Topo there, ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-Rosenbaum93-16 ) instead focusing on its release in other countries across the world, including Mexico's northern neighbour, the United States. It was in New York City where the film would play as a "midnight movie ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight_movie )" for several months at Ben Barenholtz ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Barenholtz)'s Elgin Theater ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elgin_Theater ). It attracted the attention of rock musician and countercultural figure John Lennon ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lennon ), who thought very highly of it, and convinced the president of The Beatles ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles )' company Apple Corps ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Corps ), Allen Klein ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_Klein ), to distribute it in the United States. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-FOOTNOTEJodorowsky[masked] )
Klein also agreed to give Jodorowsky $1 million to go toward creating his next film. The result was The Holy Mountain ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holy_Mountain_(1973_film )), released in 1973. It has been suggested that The Holy Mountain may have been inspired by René Daumal ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Daumal)'s Surrealist novel Mount Analogue ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Analogue ). The Holy Mountain was another complex, multi-part story that featured a man credited as "The Thief" and equated with Jesus Christ ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus ), a mystical alchemist ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alchemy ) played by Jodorowsky, seven powerful business people representing seven of the planets (Venus and the six planets from Mars to Pluto), a religious training regimen of spiritual rebirth, and a quest to the top of a holy mountain for the secret of immortality ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immortality ). During the completion of The Holy Mountain, Jodorowsky received spiritual training from Oscar Ichazo ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Ichazo ) of the Arica School ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arica_School ), who encouraged him to take LSD ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysergic_acid_diethylamide ) and guided him through the subsequent psychedelic ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychedelia ) experience. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-21 ) Around the same time (2 November 1973), Jodorowsky participated in an isolation tank ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isolation_tank ) experiment conducted by John Lilly ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_C._Lilly).[22 ] ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-22 )
Shortly thereafter, Allen Klein demanded that Jodorowsky create a film adaptation of Pauline Réage's classic novel of female masochism ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadomasochism ), Story of O ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Story_of_O ). Klein had promised this adaptation to various investors. Jodorowsky, who had discovered feminism ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism ) during the filming of The Holy Mountain, refused to make the film, going so far as to leave the country to escape directing duties. In retaliation, Allen Klein made El Topo and The Holy Mountain, to which he held the rights, completely unavailable to the public for more than 30 years. Jodorowsky frequently decried Klein's actions in interviews. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-23)[24 ] ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-24 )
Soon after the release of The Holy Mountain, Jodorowsky gave a talk at the Teatro Julio Castillo ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julio_Castillo ), University of Mexico ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Mexico ) on the subject of koans (despite the fact that he initially had been booked on the condition that his talk would be about cinematography), at which Ejo Takata appeared. After the talk, Takata gave Jodorowsky his kyosaku ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyosaku ), believing that his former student had mastered the art of understanding koans. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-25 )
In 1989, Jodorowsky completed the Mexican-Italian production Santa Sangre ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Sangre ) (Holy Blood). The film received limited theatrical distribution, putting Jodorowsky back on the cultural map despite its mixed critical reviews. Santa Sangre was a surrealistic slasher film ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slasher_film ) with a plot like a mix of Alfred Hitchcock ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Hitchcock)'s Psycho ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psycho_(1960_film )) with Robert Wiene ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Wiene)'s "The Hands of Orlac ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hands_of_Orlac_(1924_film ))". It featured a protagonist who, as a child, saw his mother lose both her arms, and as an adult let his own arms act as hers, and so was forced to commit murders at her whim. Several of Jodorowsky's sons were recruited as actors.
GUEST VIDEO CLIP
The Dance of Reality and Poesía Sin Fin (2011–present)
In August 2011, Alejandro arrived in a town in Chile where he grew up, also the setting of his autobiography The Dance of Reality ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dance_of_Reality ), to promote an autobiographical film based upon his book.
The Museum of Modern Art ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_of_Modern_Art ) honored Jodorowsky on Halloween night, 31 October 2011, by showing The Holy Mountain. He attended, and spoke about his work and life. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-TarotNYT-38 ) The next evening he presented El Topo at the Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center.
Alejandro has stated that after finishing The Dance of Reality he was preparing to shoot his long-gestating El Topo ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Topo ) sequel, Abel Cain ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abel_Cain).[39 ] ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-39)[40 ] ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-40 ) By January 2013, Alejandro finished filming on The Dance of Reality and entered into post-production. Alejandro's son and co-star in the film, Brontis, claimed the film was to be finished by March 2013, and that the film was "very different than the other films he made". ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-miaminewtimes1-41 ) On 23 April, it was announced that the film would have its world premiere at the Filmfestival in Cannes. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-Elsa_Keslassy_.40elsakeslassy-42 ) coinciding with The Dance of Reality premiered alongside the documentary film Jodorowsky's Dune ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jodorowsky%27s_Dune ), which premiered in May 2013 at the Cannes Film Festival ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannes_Film_Festival ), creating a "Jodorowsky double bill". ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-43)[44 ] ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-44 )
In 2015, Jodorowsky began a new film entitled Poesía Sin Fin ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poes%C3%ADa_Sin_Fin ), the sequel to his last "auto-biopic", The Dance of Reality. His Paris-based production company, Satori Films, launched two successful crowdfunding campaigns to finance the film. The Indiegogo campaign has been left open indefinitely, receiving donations from fans and movie-goers in support of the independent production. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-45 ) The Film was shot between June and August 2015, in the streets of Matucana in Santiago, Chile, where Jodorowsky lived for a period in his life. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-kickstarter.com-46 ) The film portrays his young adulthood in Santiago, years during which he became a core member of the Chilean poetic avant-garde alongside artists such as like Hugo Marín, Gustavo Becerra, Enrique Lihn, Stella Díaz Varín, Nicanor Parra and others. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-47)[48 ] ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-48 ) Jodorowsky's son, Adan Jodorowsky ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adan_Jodorowsky ), plays him as an adult. Jeremias Herskovitz ( https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jeremias_Herskovitz&action=edit&redlink=1 ), from The Dance of Reality ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dance_of_Reality ), portrays Jodorowsky as a teenager. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-kickstarter.com-46 ) The film premiered in the Directors' Fortnight ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directors%27_Fortnight ) section of the Cannes Film Festival ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Cannes_Film_Festival ) on 14 May 2016. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-49 ) Variety ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variety_(magazine))'s review was overwhelmingly positive, calling it "...the most accessible movie he has ever made, and it may also be the best." ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Jodorowsky#cite_note-50 )
IN HIS OWN WORDS: (VERY EARLY WORK)