Monday, 3 December 2012
Posted by emmetocuana at 02:32
My first introduction to the work of Alejandro Jodorowsky was Santa Sangre. It was being reviewed on a British show called Moviewatch hosted by jack-the-lad Johnny Vaughan. The host and guests were baffled by the film, which of course inspired me to hunt it down. Whereas Vaughan was lost for words - a rare event - I could not stop talking about this phantasmagoria of madness, misery and magic for weeks afterwards. The pied piper sequence. The cultists chanting around a lake of 'blood'. The love between a young man traumatized by horrors witnessed as a child and a mime.
It was beautiful, and brilliant, and utterly daft. I loved it.
Santa Sangre was Jodo's first film in years, following a disastrous breakdown in communication with Allen Klein, the notorious music industry manager and agent, who pulled all copies of the director's previous films El Topo and The Holy Mountain from circulation. Only recently have they become available on DVD. Jodorowsky is something of a renaissance man though, an artist, poet and writer, so while his film career stalled, his work in comics for Metal Hurlant warped the brains of a whole new audience. L'Incal, The Metabarons and Technopères all were vast, Frank Herbert-like space operas featuring destructive spirituality, kinky sex and post-human fetishes. His interest in the Tarot was made clear in the protagonist of Incal - John DiFool - a hapless low class detective unwitting of his cosmic significance, the final pages of his story revealing a vast joke at the expense of all existence. Pretty heady stuff, but not without a large degree of mockery thrown in to the mix. Jodorowsky's comic work repeatedly plays with antinomies, overtly so in The White Llama which explores the nihilistic undertones of Buddhist perceptions of reality.
This is all by way of introduction for the man's latest achievement, having been awarded the title of Grand Rectum of the absurdist Université de Foulosophie, an event held in early 2011 recorded in the documentary below from François Gourd and Matthieu Bouchard. If you have not yet experienced the Jodoverse for yourself, whether it be in comics or films, consider this a primer of sorts.
And given that the presentation is in French, I do like how one of the speakers plays on the similarity between 'singes' and 'sages'. Enjoy.
With thanks to Dangerous Minds for the find.
Labels: Alejandro Jororowsky, Alexandro Jodorowsky : Grand rectum de l'Université de Foulosophie, Comics, El Topo, Film, L'Incal, Metabarons, Santa Sangre, The Holy Mountain, The White Llama |