sábado, 11 de julio de 2009

Actualización 29 Sept 2010 : El Topo by Alexandro Jodorowsky (Updated 28-10-2009)

En 2001 conocí a Alejandro Jodorowsky durante la presentación de su libro Evangelios Para Sanar en la Feria del Libro en Monterrey. Le pregunté durante la sesion de preguntas y respuestas sobre El Topo y en su momento comentó que "Los Beatles lo contrataron, que John Lennon lo patrocinó y que George Harrison rechazó el protagónico de La Montaña Sagrada cuando supo que tenía que mostrar el trasero en una toma close up. Firmó mi libro y el LP que recientemente había adquirido. La película y su respectivo libro (de la película) me impactaron profundamente así como su creador. Alejandro Jodorowsky es un genio y un creador lleno de sorpresas.

Actualización | Update!
Recently found from the Lost Caverna Tapes / Reciente descubrimiente de Las Cintas Perdidas de La Caverna:

Alejandro Jodorowsky Speaks About "Evangelios Para Sanar"
mp3 50 min
Original Microcassette Recording by Fernando Zavala

I believe that the only end of all human activity --- whether it be politics, art, science, etc.---is to find enlightment. I ask of film what most North Americans ask of psychodelic drugs. The difference being that when one creates a psychodelic film, he need not create a film that shows the visions of a person who has taken a pill, rather, he needs to manufacture the pill. I think the journey of Alexander the Great it a psychodelic trip. Many say that Alexander the Great was an idiot because, while his conquest was so great, so complete, as he progressed in conquering the entire world, he was actually progressing toward his ultimate failure. I think Alexander the Great was journeyng into the depth of his being. I think that Odysseus was another great traveler. I want to travel the route of the Odyssey. I want to travel the route of Alexander the Great. I want to travel into the deepest areas of my being in order to reach enlightenment.

I first met Mara whe she came to my home one day. She was in bad shape. At one time in her life she had taken LSD in great quatities, and had sufferd. I said, "I will make a film with you. You will have the starring role." And she believed me. She didn't know who I was. And I didn't know her name. She lived with my children for six months. One day she said, "My name is Mara." After we filmed the movie she left. I don't know where she is.

Q. Did they understand their roles?
A When I wanted to do the rape scene, I explained to Mara that I was going to hit her and rape her. There was no emotional relationship between us, because I put a clause in all the women's contracts stating that thay would not make love with the director. We had never spoken to each other. I know nothing about her. We went to the desert with two other people, the photographer and a technician. No one else. I said, "I'm not going to rehearse. There will be one take because it will be impossible to repeat it. Roll the cameras only whe I signal to you to." Then I told her, "Pain does not hurt. Hit me." And she hit me. I said, "Harder." And she started to hit me very hard, hard enought to break a rib . . . I ached for a week. and hard enough to tire her, I said, "Now it's my turn. Roll the cameras." And I really. . . . I really . . . . raped her.

Q Some people seeing El Topo are upset by all the blood in the picture. A Ah, the blood---there is much blood in the picture. I refer to the Essenes. In their Gospel of Peace, they say that all blood comes from the Universal Mother, that stones are blood, flowers are blood, walls are blod, that everything is blood. So when I wound someone in the picture, I exaggerate the blood because I feel it is Truth being exposed . . . quite apart of the humor of it. I'll tell you Godard said when someone asked him, "Why do you show so much blood in Weekend?" He answered, "I don't
use blood; I use the color red. I like red." There are so many people who don't like red. There is a social barrier against red. If all the violence shown in movies doesn't show blood, people will accept it. Thefirst barrier against red is the red traffic lights. Then there's the communist terror. And the menstrual cycles. And hemorrhoids . . . which eight percent of the people in the U.S. suffer from ... from bad eating habits, from eating hamburgers. To solve this problem, I propose that the audience see different colors of blood. Think of green blood, for example, and you forget that throughout each human being, throughout mankind, flows a river of blood. In my pirate movie, I won't have those problems: I'm going to put green blood in the wounds . . . blue blood . . . violet blood. And the wounds will spill out soap bubbles, red butterflies, pieces of shiny cloth, crystal balls, cow's tongues . . . or hamburgers. O.K.? Ah! such pleasure! What a pleasure ist is to sing . . . !
Q How did you feel directing El Topo? A When you live the picture, when you are not acting, there is no dichotomy; no alienation. What you are doing is real. Because I think that if you want a picture. And before doing that, you must change yourself. Right? This must be done. With every new picture, I must change myself, I must kill myself, and I must be reborn. I must kill the actors and they must be reborn. And then the audiences, the audiences who go to the movies, must be assassinated, killed, destroyed, and they must leave the theatre as new people. This is a good picture.

Q Do you think that other films, symbolic films, fail because they attempt too much?
A Those who want to make art try to put everything into the picture, nothing escapes and everything is done for the picture. And they feel that the camera is the umbilical cord to the heart of the world. Yes. But I feel that the heart of the world is the heart of the world. And that
the camera is an insect which consumes only a part of the world. I never hope to include everything in a picture. I believe that each image of the film is an imprint. I can't give the entire body. You have to form it. Each film must be a sample of the entire universe, as each grain of sand is a sample of the entire beach. Rene Guenon says, "Man is a symbol just as a word is a symbol." Every word and every symbol carry man along. Man is the symbol of the unmani-
fested, and you have to live your life like a symbol. Because if you don't want to live your life as a
symbol, but as what you think is a real body, then you are not living.

Q. How do you choose your actors? A. They are not actors. I find them the way I find locations. When I'm looking for a location. I don't sleep I believe that the planet is a human being, a live being who thinks---logically--- but also dreams. And then it makes landscapes which are very different. So without having slept, I happen on a place and find these geological dreams. I said, for example, that I needed a man with no legs, and he knocked on my door. That's how I found all the people. They came. When I needed a person, that person appeared.

Q. I'm surprised you've never written poetry.
A. When Mohammed say his first vision in the cavem he screamed and said, "Why me?" And he wanted to commit suicide. He didn't want to accept the vision because he thought it was too beautiful. One day I was drinking--- I never drink --- and that day I drank Vodka because Vodka is transparent. So it was like drinking the glass. I've always wanted to drink the glass
instead of the liquid. Later, I was with Valerie and all of the sudden I started to cry. And I whispered in her ear, desperatelyand with certain vengeance, "I'm a poet." I think that films must be made like poems. Right? Some people make films like novels. Truffaut. Some make films like political essays: Goddard. That's good! Some people make films like metaphysical
stories: Bergman. But I want to make poems. We want to make poetry ---we must make poetry. Poetry meant for a poet-audience. That, too.

Q. What other filmakers make a film an act of poetry?
A Enrich von Stroheim. Buster Keaton. I thing Buster Keaton's films don't have very good tech-
niques. But he's so beautiful, so strong, he doesn't need to use great techniques. You don't need to do anything. You only need to use Buster Keaton. In El Topo there are no techniques . . . no dissolves, no effects, nothing. I filmed things as they were. Always with strong light, Arthur Caravan is a poet who says, "Mystery in broad daylight."Andre Breton wrote about him in
his book on Black Humor. He also said, "Spitting: is it an insult or a caress?" Right? I feel those two concepts are very good. There are moments in the picture when I pay small homages. For
example, when the bandit sucks on the shoe. That's a homage to Bunuel. When Mara circles El Topo in the desert saying, "Nothing, nothing, nothing . . . ": to Godard, especially to a part of his film Pierrot le Fou. The duet scene between El Topo and the Colonel in the circular space: Leone. When the camera is stationary and the action takes place in a single frame, I pay homage to Buster Keaton. Etcetera. The shot that frames one of the bandits with the legs of the Colonel is one of the most common used in film. So I decided to use it to amuse myself. Another common take is showing someone approaching the camera. I only didi that once. The influence of bad movies.
Q. How were you changed by the experience of the movie? A I was reborn. A new life. Really,
a new life. I think my brain opened up. Maybe whenever you do some- thing you are always changed. When I shaved my head and when I found the landscapes, for exam ple, those were very strong experiences--- Jungian experiences. I took an old woman--- she was a hundred
years old--- from the town, and I kissed her when we ate the beetles. The beetle is a sacred symbol of Egypt. We entered into Time, and she give birth to me. You'll notice she has the Tree of Life embroidered on her vestment. I had it embroidered for her. And I think I was reborn, like a hero who must die and be reborn. I think my whole life was changed. For example, when
I returned home after filming the movie, I couldn't stand having anything on the walls . . . nothing. And I put a book in the middle of a room, took all the books that no longer said enough to me, and put them in a box. And I let my friends to take them away. I threw away all my clothes because I couldn't wear them anymore. I kept a few pairs of pants and some shirts, that's all. I had the honor of not being admitted inot many New York restaurants. Incredible, isn't it? Even the restaurant on the first floor of this building turned me away. That's why now I'm in the
heights of the building.

Side One
1 Entierro del Primer Juguete
(Burial of the First Toy)
2 Bajo Tierra
(Under the Earth)
3 La Catedral de los Puercos
(The Pigs Monastery)
4 La Muerte Es Un Nacimiento
(Death Is Birth)
5 Curios Mexicano
(Mexican Curios)
6 El Agua Viva
(Living Water)
7 Vals Fantasma

Side Two
1 El Alma Nace en la Sangre
(The Soul Born in the Blood)
2 Topo Triste
3 Los Dióses De Azúcar
(The Sugar Gods)
4 Las Flores Nacen En El Barro
(Flowers Born In the Mud)
5 El Infierno De Los Angeles Prostitutos
(THe Hell of the Prostituted Angels)
6 Marcha De Los Ojos En Los Triángulos
(March of the Eyes in the Triangles)
7 La Miel Del Dolor
(The Pain of the Honey)
8 300 Conejos
(300 Rabbits)
9 Conocimiento A Través De La Música
(Knowledge Through Music)
10 La Primera Flor Después Del Diluvio
(The First Floor After the Flood)


Recording Engineer: Brian Humphries
Re-Mix Engineers: Roy Cicala
Jay Messina
Jack Douglas

Mastered at Sterling Sound Studios --- New York
Design: Michael Gross
Agency: New Times

Manufactured by Apple Records, Inc.
1700 Broadway
New York, New York