Alejandro Jodorowsky
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Praticamente apolide, figlio di Ebrei russi cresciuto in America Latina, USA ed Europa, clown, marionettista e mimo, Alejandro Jodorowsky proviene dal teatro surrealista (Arrabal) di cui ha trasferito sullo schermo l'insistenza simbolica e la visionaria ambiguita` dal teatro surrealista (Arrabal) di cui ha trasferito sullo schermo l'insistenza simbolica e la visionaria ambiguita`.

Fando y Lis (1968) e` una parabola onirica, violenta e delirante, tratta da Arrabal.

Una coppia di giovani, una paralitica e un religioso, vaga nei gironi infernali di un incubo (mucchi di rifiuti, carogne), torturata fino alla morte dalla realta` di una totale decadenza morale.

El Topo/ The Mole (1970) e` un western dell'assurdo, epico e magico, che ha per protagonista un indomito cavaliere che sacrifica la propria vita nella lotta contro il male.

Un uomo sul cavallo nel deserto con un bambino nudo. E` vestito di nero e la faccia e` sempre in ombra. Si ferma, gli consegna alcuni regali e suona il flauto mentre lui li seppellisce nella sabbia Poi si rimettono in cammino. Arrivano a un villaggio distrutto. Il minuscolo rio e` rosso di sangue. Ci sono corpi sventrati dappertutto. Entrano in una chiesa e trovano decine di impiccati. Chiazze di sangue sulle mura. Un superstite rantola e lo supplica di ucciderlo.
Tre mattacchioni gli galoppano intorno ridendo come degli ossessi. Lui continua imperturbabile a passo lento e maestoso. Si fermano presso un'oasi, lo affrontano... il cavaliere nero e` piu` rapido ne uccide due e fa confessare al terzo dove si trova il capo dei banditi.
Questi e` uno psicotico che e` piombato su una missione, ha fatto appendere i frati al muro e ha massacrato i peones. Quattro banditi straccioni costringono i frati a ballare con loro. Li denudano e li seviziano, mentre altri ammazzano peones a casaccio. Lasciano invece in pace una donna, che e` stata prescelta dal capo. Si prostrano davanti al capo come animali. Il capo concede loro di baciare la donna, le fa mostrare loro il seno. In quel momento irrompe il cavaliere nero, che li disarma e libera i frati.
Sfida il capo dei banditi in un duello e lo umilia. I banditi adesso gioiscono come dei bambini: tengono fermo il loro capo mentre il cavaliere lo castra. Il capo poi si spara con un fucile. Gi altri banditi vengono avvolti in sacchi e fucilati dal popolo.
Il cavaliere scaccia il bambino, che trova rifugio presso i frati, e si rimette in viaggio portando con se` la donna. Si ferma a suonare il flauto nei pressi di un lago. Poi s'inoltra dinuovo nel deserto. Lui trova l'acqua in una roccia, ma poi non la trovano piu`. Quando lei si sta disperando, lui la spoglia violentemente, e finalmente lei riesce a far sgorgare l'acqua da una roccia. Lei gli chiede di dimostrargli il suo amore trovando i "master" del deserto.
Ne trovano uno in una torre da cui risuonano canti buddisti, protetta da uno storpio portato a braccia da uno schiavo. Il guru e` cieco, immune alle pallottole. Lui, istigato dalla donna, lo sfida. Vince il duello e uccide il guru epoi deve uccidere tutti i suoi servi, compreso lo storpio, mentre la donna ride divertita. La donna lo incita a cercare gli altri tre "master".
Una ragazza, anche lei vestita di nero, gli si presenta e gli offre di portarlo dal secondo master. Il secondo guru, che ha un leone e una donna che squittisce come una scimmia, e` piu` veloce di lui e lo disarma. Gli da` una sonora lezione, ma poi lo bacia sulla bocca. Gli volta pero` le spalle e il cavaliere nero ne approfitta per ucciderlo.
Le due donne lottano selvaggiamente, ma quella in nero le lecca le ferite e fanno l'amore.
Il terzo guru vive circondato da conigli, ma le bestie muoiono l'una dopo l'altra all'arrivo del cavaliere. Il terzo guru non solo e` piu` veloce ma lo ferisce anche. Il cavaliere riesce comunque a ucciderlo.
L'epopea nel deserto continua, nonostante le tensioni fra le due donne. Il cavaliere va a sfidare il quarto guru, ma questi rifiuta di usare la pistola e lo sfida a pugni. Quando lui, disperato, impugna la pistola, scopre che la rete per le farfalle del guru e` capace di intercettare e rimbalzare le pallottole. Per convincerlo che la sua missione e` insensata, il guru si suicida.
Il cavaliere distrugge la torre nel deserto. La donna lo congratula ma lui la scaccia.
Attraversa un canyon su un ponte. Gli si para davanti l'altra ragazza che gli spara. Lui non oppone resistenza. La ragazza lascia scegliere alla sua donna, e lei spara al cavaliere. Le due donne se ne vanno a cavallo.
Alcuni storpi vengono a raccattare il suo cadavere e a dargli sepoltura.
In una grande caverna vive un guru dalla folta capigliatura bionda (che potrebbe essere il cavaliere tanti anni dopo). Una donna gli dice che lo ha accudito fin da quando era bambina e che gli anziani confidano in lui per "liberarli". Lo conduce fra la folla che vive in quella caverna. Si fa radere la testa e promette al suo popolo che fara` scavare un tunnel e che il tunnel dara` loro la liberta`.
Si fa accompagnare da una nana nella vicina cittadina, dove marchiano gli schiavi in una specie di stadio sotto gli occhi delle borghesi lussuriose. I borghesi maschi si contengono invece una ragazza nuda mentre alcuni uomini vengono sommariamente giustiziati dallo sceriffo. Per le strade del paese passa una straordinaria processione.
I bambini attorniano il guru che finge di essere un comico e raccoglie cosi` elemosina.
Le anziane e grasse borghesi si fanno curare seminude da un nero prestante nel suo studio di bellezza. Gli si avventano addosso e se lo contendono come tigri.
La nana comincia a dubitare che vivere nel mondo sia meglio che vivere nella caverna, ma il guru comincia a scavare il tunnel.
Un frate, appaena tornato in paese, presenzia a una messa che culmina con una roulette russa in cui la gente preme il grilletto e poi grida al miracolo per non essere morta. Offrono la pistola anche a lui e il prete gli mormora che la pallottola e` falsa. Lui la sostituisce con una vera pallottola e passa la pistola in giro finche' uno muore.
Il guru e la nana continuano a esibirsi per qualche spicciolo e a compiere i lavori piu` umili. Lo ingaggiano in un night club decadente, dove le notte sono sdraiate nude. Li invitano a spogliarsi e a fare l'amore sotto i loro occhi.
Il guru e la nana vanno a trovare il frate e a chiedergli di sposarli. Ma il frate riconosce nel guru il suo master, tira fuori una rivoltella e tenta di ucciderlo. La nana gli fa scudo con il suo corpo e spiega al frate che il guru li sta aiutando. Il frate si scopre essere il cavaliere. Il frate-cavaliere concede al guru di vivere fino a quando avra` ultimato il tunnel. Il guru chiede al cavaliere di aiutarli a scavare cosi` finiranno prima. Il cavaliere si arrenderebbe, ma il guru persevera e alla fine riesce a completare l'opera. Il cavaliere non trova la forza di uccidere il suo master.
Il popolo delle caverne, quasi tutti storpi, puo` finalmente riversarsi nella pianura, ma i bravi cittadini, e le grasse borghesi in prima fila, li attendono con i fucili in mano. Li massacrano senza pieta`, mentre la nana ha le doglie. Il guru arriva troppo tardi e puo` soltanto straziarsi. I cittadini lo crivellano di colpi, ma lui continua ad avanzare. Imbraccia a sua volta un fucile e si mette a sparare all'impazzata. Quelli che scampano abbandonano il paese.
Poi il guru si da` fuoco. Il cavaliere e la nana s'incamminano a cavallo, con il neonato.
Film anche troppo palesemente mitologico, straripante di riferimenti biblici, pecca di voler dire troppo con troppo poco. Piu` che dal racconto la suggestione viene dai paesaggi metafisici del deserto (e dal continuo sibilare del vento). Il pellegrinaggio del cavaliere nero nel deserto assomiglia alle peregrinazioni dei personaggi di Tarkovsky nella "Zone".

Holy Mountain (1973), centered around the pilgrimage of a mythological Thief who looks a lot like Jesus, and loosely based on Rene Daumal's novel "Mt Analogue", is an esoteric parable taunted with sarcastic humor and drenched in a hallucinated landscape. The component of mystical yearning is underwhelming if not totally ridiculous; as a universal allegory on the human fate (coming five years after Kubrick's 2001), the film fares even worse. It succeeds, instead, as a chaotic surrealist carnival of madness that weds a Bosch-like medieval hell and Latin American social documentaries of the time, Fellini's 8 1/2 and constructivist collage of the 1920s, Bunuel's Simon of the Desert and Tarkovsky's Stalker, a psychedelic version of Kubrick's cosmological meditation and a grotesque indictment of Western materialism, consumerism and militarism.

The theme can be summarized as the pilgrimage of a sinner to a destination that would represent his salvation but actually represents the insignificance of human life; and the same destiny is amplified in the trek of the nine to meet nine sages who turn out to be the nine pilgrims themselves (seven of which represent the legendary vices of humankind). The first half is hardly spoken, the second half is annoyingly verbose, although it does mix elements of dadaistic cabaret and Brecht-ain agitprop theater in an original manner. Nudity abounds, for reasons that are probably mostly decorative.

Visually, the wildly polychromatic scenography prevails over the poorly scripted narrative (not to mention the horribly cheesy dialogues). At its best this film stages a viscerally baroque phantasmagoria that delivers a visual and semiotic overload. The vice-ridden city and the shaman-infested landscape that surrounds it are containers of symbols drawn from Christianity, Buddhism, tarots, Kabalah, etc.

A priest officiates a mass (we hear the murmur of the choir and then the growling of a Tibetan-like chant). He shaves and undresses two women. A man, introduced as the Thief, lies half naked in a pool of urine, his body being chewed by millions of flies, and guarded by a puma. A leg-less and arm-less dwarf and a crowd of naked laughing children carry him away and hang him on a cross; but he gets down and scares them away like a wild beast. This long-haired man, vaguely resembling Jesus, and the cripple smoke a joint together. Then they enter the city, where some kind of parade is going on. Soldiers, wearing gas masks, execute prisoners, young men and women. The aristocracy kneels in front of a religious procession that carries skinned lambs instead of flags. The firing squad shoots the dead men and a crowd surrounds them. Birds fly out of a dead man's chest. One of the soldiers rapes a well-dressed woman who doesn't seem to mind. A bizarrely-dressed tourist (possibly her husband) films the rape and asks the Thief to film him as he hugs the rapist and the woman, the couple behaving as if they were attending a folkloristic show during an exotic holiday. In the main square a medieval-like show is being enacted in a miniature city of Mayan pyramids: "The Conquest of Mexico", with toads playing the role of armored Spanish soldiers. The Thief quacks. An explosion destroys the set. The Thief quacks arond the ruins.
A nun directs fat Roman centurions (who are eating the internal organs of a bull, one of them even sitting inside the hull of the bull) to escort the Thief carrying the cross while the foreign tourist films the scene. Instead of killing the Thief, they force him to drink until he loses consciousness. They lie him down unconscious in the position of a crucified person and the nun spreads some pig fluid on him. They use his body to make a cast from which they produce hundreds of identical naked Jesus-like mannequins. When the Thief wakes up and finds himself surroundewd by hundreds of "clones", he beats up the centurions and went on a rampage destroying as many of the mannequins as he can, and eventually carrying one away.
A group of prostitutes wearing revealing miniskirts starts following the still naked Thief (who is still carrying a naked mannequin) and the Dwarf. One of the prostitutes has washed the Thief's feet and has a chimp who frolics around her like a child. Men dance with the soldiers of the firing squad. In a church a priest, who also speaks only in animal growls, gives him a real crucifix. The Thief hangs it to balloons that fly away.
The Thief, the Prostitute and the chimp reach a place where townfolks are assembled around a giant orange tower. Someone at the top lowers a piece of gold. The Thief immediately grabs the rope and uses it to climb up the tower. He finds a large hole protected by a white diaphragm. He jumps through the white membrane and finds a temple of sorts in which a man dressed in white (the Alchemist of the first scene) is flanked by two goats. The Alchemist moves like a robot. The Thief attacks him with a knife but the Alchemist easily repels his attack with judo-like moves. The Alchemist then hypnotizes the Thief and his robot-like black servant, a Nubian-looking woman whose body is covered with Jewish symbols, the Written Woman, cuts a tumor from his neck while he is unconscious. The Alchemist wakes up the Thief and ironically offers him gold, which the Thief is eager to obtain. Instead the Alchemist and his assistant wash him in a pool (where a hippo is also bathing) and gives him a gift: trapped in a glass enclosure, while the Written Woman plays the cello, the Thief is subjected to some kind of alchemical ritual whose result is a giant mirror. The Thief, now fully covered in a black cape, smashes the mirror. Also dressed in black and acting as his mirror image, the Alchemist helps the Thief crack a stone that contains a soul in the form of a crystal ball. The world spins around a tantric symbol. The Alchemist leads the Thief into a round room whose walls are covered with large childish paintings of the 12 Tarot cards. The music changes to Indian. The Thief doesn't even look while the priest places objects around him, including a crusaders' sword, each symbolizing a virtue. The robotic Written Woman brings a bull. The paintings are suddenly replaced by seven statues of naked peopole, each representing a planet and a vice. The Alchemist calls them the most powerful thieves in the world. They are all selfish greedy disreputable capitalists and the film introduces them one by one in orgiastic and parodistic settings.
The one from Venus made money in the textile industry. His father is blind, deaf and mute, and is always accompanied by the mummified body of his dead wife, escorted by young sexy nurses in miniskirts. Venus has hundreds of wives, all dressed identical. His factory makes plastic clothes and masks. The one from Mars sells weapons. She (dressed like a man) has an army of drag queens (men dressed like women). His company experiments with drugs that incite peaceful people to violence. Jupiter makes artistic objects, helped by his sexy lover and assistant. He created an erotic machine, a giant vagina that can reach the orgasm if excited with a giant plastic phallus. His lover succeeds where his chaffeur has failed. The orgasm makes the machine give birth to a wailing baby machine. A silent scene shows the generals welcoming a female clown, Saturn, who changes clothes and removes the make-up to reveal a stern female businesswoman who is escorted to visit her factory. A computer is used to determine what toys to make in order to instill hatred into children. The workers of her factory are all elderly men. Uranus is a lazy effeminate boy cuddled by his old fat mother. Despite their depraved private life, the pair turn themselves into a sort of queen and a distinguished economic advisor when they meet with the president of their country. The advisor proudly suggests to kill 4 million citizens within 5 years. Neptune is a police chief, who collects testicles for an odd esoteric ritual. We see images of police massacres after which police officers disembowel the cadavers and find all sorts of objects and animals inside their bellies. Pluto is an architect, haunted in his maze by children wearing Mickey Mouse masks.
This long parenthesis is interrupted by a helicopter, hovering over the giant orange tower. The Alchemist gathers the seven capitalists, the Thief and the Written Woman for a lecture (including slide presentation) on the nine immortals who live on top of the holy mountain. The priest claims to know how to steal from them the secret of immortality. The seven capitalists burn all their money in a pit prepared by the priest (the Thief tries to keep a couple of banknotes but is derided by everybody else). The priest leads their long trek to the holy mountain through pompous mystical declarations and obscure rituals of union with nature. The event that stands out is when a shaman announces that one of them has drowned. Each takes turn at looking inside a pot full of water and each sees himself/herself reflected in the water. Nonetheless this abstract drowned being is buried in a hole in the ground with accompaniment of a fanfare. The chimp and the Prostitute are among the mourners. Finally they reach a wharf, and a group of children and women run screaming towards them. They board a boat and start paddling across the lake. The Thief is instructed to throw his crippled friend in the water to prove that it is just an hallucination, and we see him mimicking the act of throwing someone into the ocean but there is nobody in his hands. They are welcomed to a town's party, being held at the "Pantheon Bar" that has a copy of Rodin's sculpture "The Thinker", replete with a circus of psychedelic and supernatural performers. Chained to each other, dressed in blue suits, and holding a tiger on leash, they advance through a lush landscape. The group seems to be affected by nightmares: one of the women drowns in sperm, one of the men succumbs to a slot machine endlessly spitting coins, another one is covered in tarantulas, another one drinks from the cheetah-shaped nipples of an aging hermaphrodite, etc. Finally they are approaching the top of the mountain, and the Alchemist declares that his mission is over and instructs them to behead him with a giant sword... but his head turns into a lamb and he laughs at the executioner. The chimp and the Prostitute have followed them up the mountain and the Alchemist instructs the Thief marry the Prostitute. No longer chained, the blue men reach a white table around which are white cloaked figures only one of which is a man: the Alchemist himself.
The camera zooms back and reveals the setting of the film. The Alchemist is the filmmaker himself. The actors leave the set and return to real life.
(See also this article that has a lot more details and may correct some mistakes of mine)
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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