El Topo

Film

Fantasy

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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Apr 3 2007

When it first arrived in London three decades ago, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ‘El Topo’ had already established a formidable reputation as the seminal midnight movie, and perhaps even a metaphysical masterpiece. I’m not sure about that, but, released in a digitally restored edition, it remains an aesthetically intoxicating trip. Taking its cue from spaghetti westerns, it stars the director as an avenger in black, initially accompanied by a naked young boy before he takes on a series of wilderness gurus and endures spiritual meltdown, apparent death and regeneration a generation on as a leader of freaks. Inventively composed, beautifully photographed and boasting lakes of blood, shoe fetish action, mystical iconography and dwarf pantomime – often in the same scene – it’s by turns mesmerising, grotesque, surreal, satirical, rousing and impenetrable. One of the original publicity taglines had it about right: ‘What it all means isn’t exactly clear, but you won’t forget it.’
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