Yes, yes, he was born in Chile, but began making films in Mexico. This guy is crazy. Like David Lynch you don’t feel he’s being pretentious. He actually believes in what he’s doing. Coincidentally, he was working on his own Dune project in the 1970’s with H.R. (Alien) Giger. He never would’ve had the money to pull it off successfully though.
Fando and Lis – His debut. Not great, but a good introduction. The one image that has always stuck with me is the un-burying of a doll shot in reverse. I think I saw this last of all his films.
El Topo – Huge arthouse film from the 70’s. For years you could not get it legally in the states. I had to get my original bootleg VHS from a little video store in Minneapolis. Years later I could get a European DVD import. And recently all the rights issues have been cleared up (someone must have offered the late Allen Klein a ton of money).
El Topo is unlike any Western you have ever seen. It certainly bares no resemblance to any John Ford or Sergio Leone film (unless there was a similar scene in My Darling Clementine where Henry Fonda shoots a penis-shaped rock in order let flow fresh water (been awhile since I’ve seen Clementine)). Keep an eye out for actor turned director Alfonso Arau in a small role as a baddie.
The Holy Mountain – I bet you’ve never seen anything like this. Again, not seen for years thanks to Allen Klein (all John Lennon’s fault (look it up)). There are images in here that haunt me to this day.
Santa Sangre –My first Jodorowsky film (I don’t remember the year, ’90 or ’91). I saw this on the shelf of a video store in Louisville on Bardstown Rd. I picked it up and read that Roger Ebert thought it was one of the best movies of the year. It’s been described as Buñuel does Psycho. I certainly hadn’t seen anything like it up to that point in my movie watching life. No wait. I’d already seen Un Chien Andalou, but that was non-narrative surrealism. Santa Sangre is narrative surrealism. Check out the documentary on Jodowrowsky, La Constellation Jodorowsky. I think it’s on the Fando and Lis DVD. This was co-written & produced by Claudio Argento (Dario‘s little brother).