Precious Bodily Fluids

A Sentence on El Topo

A kind of love-child of Buñuel and Leone with more biblical and religious symbolism than one knows what to do with, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s surrealist Western El Topo follows a cowboy/priest with a sacred calling on a blood-soaked crusade to rescue and ravage the children of men along with their women to liberate the oppressed and celebrate the grotesque in all its gnarley forms without failing to achieve as a film something either sublime or just subliminal, always faithful to itself but less than preoccupied with viewer accessibility.

This entry was published on March 17, 2010 at 8:51 am and is filed under 1970s Cinema, Mexican Film, One-Sentence Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “A Sentence on El Topo

  1. adamgust on said:

    I admit, I have been leery of watching any of his films simply because I find myself so fascinated by by what I have heard of his work and all the contraversy over it. Every time I pass by The Holy Mountain (Only at Stadium Video of course) I do a double take and then wonder if I’ll finally just watch the darn thing but never have.

    I have checked out a number of clips from youtube and the stuff just blows my mind, but my imagination sometimes
    goes into overload resulting in bizarre dreams I could live without. I think I have over-hyped it all for myslef though.

  2. adamgust on said:

    His work reminds me of Salvador Dali in many ways, just the grotesque surreal quality it has at times.

  3. That’s interesting – I don’t think I’m aware of the controversy. The Holy Mountain, on the other hand…wow. I started that one over a year ago and shut it off after a few minutes. Couldn’t handle it. This one is bizarre but in a less destructive (though maybe more violent) way. It’s super-surreal, very interesting visually and in the ideas it evokes. There’s a narrative, but it’s easy to miss it with all the insane imagery. I think it’s the only surrealist film I’ve seen that really seemed cogent, actually. Have you seen “Un Chien Andalou” or “L’Age D’or”? Those are shorter, surreal, and a bit out of control. They were co-made by Dali and Luis Bunuel. They’re online for viewing.

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