No Attachment to Dust
Alejandro Jodorowsky on Zen and the art of filmmaking
"We are not living in reality.
We are living in a kind of dream, and this dream needs to be finished because we are coming to the end of one way to think. It’s not possible to continue to live like that.
We need to go to a mutation now."
Crackpot, visionary, madman, sage: Chilean
director Alejandro Jodorowsky is all of these, perhaps. His '70s-'80s
series of films, including Fando y Lis, El Topo, The Holy Mountain and Santa Sangre,
have typically provoked as many howls of
outrage for their violent, repellant and blasphemous scenarios as they have
fervent worship for their stunningly original imagery and brazen
disregard for standard filmmaking contrivance.
also been a mime, a stage director, a cartoonist and comic book writer
and a Tarot reader. His films are a baroquely unsane experience, an artful riot of Jungian
psychology, Buddhist birth pangs, primeval ultra-carnage, the lure of the loins.
They’re about mothers
and fathers and faith and death and time and space and the cancer of the
spirit; they’re rather twisted love letters to women and
touching odes to the deformed and depraved; they are anti-war,
anti-consumerist, anti-establishment and most of all anti-boredom. Their
fundamentally perverse nature is cathartic in its brutal
banality and utter bizarreness.
Jodorowsky’s films are like 365 days of the dead, savoring
life too much not to wallow in its wormy corollary. He was, you might
say, the first filmmaker to truly unite Eastern with Western, and that’s
a much-imitated aesthetic for which he’s rarely given his due. He
defines his art via phone from his home in Paris.
BLUEFAT: Your films have been called many things
–– psychedelic spaghetti westerns, head trips, horror films –– but maybe
the best way to describe them is as an ode to the power of imagination.
JODOROWSKY: It was my
goal. I want to liberate my imagination and my mind with every kind of movie.
That is what I wanted to do all my life.