Join us at the Rio Theatre on Tuesday, August 9 for a double bill celebrating two great films from celebrated Chilean auteur Alejandro Jodorowsky: El Topo and The Holy Mountain.
A bizarre, ultra-violent, allegorical Western, El Topo (1970) is set in two halves that have widely been compared to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. In the first half, writer-director Jodorowsky performs a hat trick ins role as a violent, black-clad gunfighter – the eponymous El Topo. Accompanied by his naked son, El Topo off on a murderous mission to challenge four Zen masters of gunfighting before learning from each of them a “Great Lesson” before they die. In the second half, El Topo sets out to find personal redemption, secluding himself in a subterranean community to learn the ways of peace, but unfortunately death is never far away.
EL TOPO (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970 / 125 mins / 18A) El Topo decides to confront warrior Masters on a trans-formative desert journey he begins with his 6 year old son, who must bury his childhood totems to become a man. El Topo (the mole) claims to be God, while dressed as a gunfighter in black, riding a horse through a spiritual, mystical landscape strewn with old Western movie, and ancient Eastern religious symbols. Bandits slaughtered a village on his path, so El Topo avenges the massacred, then forcibly takes their leader’s woman Mara as his. El Topo’s surreal way is bloody, sexual and self-reflective, musing of his own demons, as he tries to vanquish those he encounters.
THE HOLY MOUNTAIN (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1973 / 114 mins) In a corrupt, greed-fueled world, a powerful alchemist leads a Christ-like character and seven materialistic figures to the Holy Mountain, where they hope to achieve enlightenment.