Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Masterful artist close to being as important as goal b

Alejandro Jodorowsky or Alexandro Jodorowsky (born February 7, 1929, in Tocopilla, Chile) is an actor, director, producer, composer, mime, comic book writer and psychotherapist born to Ashkenazi Jewish parents of Russian origin. He is particularly known for having directed a handful of esoteric, surreal and shocking films, and for having written several comic books.

The revered cult filmmaker once stated, "I ask of cinema what most North Americans ask of psychedelic drugs." He is also a New Age spiritualist, and one of the world's leading researchers of the Tarot. Jodorowsky has lately committed a lot of attention to developing a psychological therapy called "Psychomagic" which aims to heal the psychological wounds suffered in the early stages of life. This therapy is based on the belief that the performance of certain outside acts can directly act upon the unconscious mind, releasing it from a series of traumas, some of which are passed down from generation to generation. These acts are prescribed by the therapist after having studied the patient's personality and family tree.

Artistic career

In 1962 he created the Panic Movement, together with Roland Topor and Fernando Arrabal. He has also worked with famous artists such as Marcel Marceau, Maurice Chevalier, H.R. Giger, Dan O'Bannon, Jean Giraud (Mœbius). John Lennon was a fan of Jodorowsky's work, and had a hand in taking his films to venues in the U.S.

On December 3, 2005, he officiated at the non-denominational marriage ceremony of friend Marilyn Manson and Dita Von Teese (real name: Heather Sweet) at Castle Gurteen in Kilsheelan, County Tipperary, Ireland. Manson has stated that Jodorowsky influenced his entire visual style.[1]

Film-making career

Jodorosky started his film career in Mexico with El Topo (1970) and The Holy Mountain (1973) which are regarded as cult classics. For many years, neither film was available on videocassette or DVD in the United States because of disputes over ownership with Allen Klein (though this dispute was settled in 2004); bootleg copies were occasionally circulated of both El Topo and The Holy Mountain and were (illegally) available on DVD in Italy.

His first feature length film, Fando y Lis, is available on DVD in the US and is infamous for inciting a full scale riot at its premiere in the Acapulco Film Festival. There is a small scale circulation of his works on the internet.

Jodorowsky began working in 1975 on an adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune. The project was intended to involve Orson Welles, Salvador Dalí, Dan O'Bannon, Chris Foss, Pink Floyd, H.R. Giger and Jean Giraud (Mœbius). Ultimately, its funding evaporated, but Jodorowsky claimed it was sabotaged by the major studios in Hollywood because it was too French (a strange claim considering that Jodorowsky, while a naturalized citizen of France, has never identified with any particular country or culture). Many close to the project claim that the set designs later turned up in Star Wars. Several of the people working on Jodorowsky's version of Dune later worked on Alien with elements similar to that of the failed movie. Of course, in the early 1980s, David Lynch would later make his own version of Dune.

In 1989, Jodorowsky completed another important film Santa Sangre, which got some theatrical distribution and mixed critical reviews that nonetheless, put Jodorowsky back on the cultural map. It delved into psychodrama territory with its protagonist becoming the amputated arms and hands of his mother and committing a string of murders in the process. Several of Jodorowsky's sons were recruited as actors.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Jodorowsky attempted to make a sequel to El Topo called at different times The Sons of El Topo and Abelcain, but he could not find investors for the project.

Jodorowsky once said, "Most directors make films with their eyes. I make films with my testicles." He made almost all his movies in Mexico.

In 2000, Jodorowsky won the Jack Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Underground Film Festival. He attended the Festival and his films were shown, including the then-grey legal status "El Topo" and "The Holy Mountain". According to festival director Bryan Wendorf, it was an open question of whether CUFF would be allowed to show these films(ie. whether the police would show up and shut the Festival down).

Comic books

Jodorowsky is the writer of several science fiction comic book series, all set in the same universe, including The caste of the Metabarons, The Technopriests, Incal, Moonface, and Megalex. Many ideas and concepts devised by Jodorowsky from his planned adaptation of Dune (which he would have only loosely based upon Frank Herbert's original novel) later turned up in the Metabarons comic books, which also contain many references to Dune in general. The series is drawn by Juan Giménez.

He particularly collaborates with Mœbius and Humanoids Publishing. All the science fiction graphic novels authored by Jodorowsky are set in the same setting, which fans refer to as the Jodoverse.

Comics by Jodorowsky outside the genre of science fiction include Bouncer, Son Of The Gun and The Crowned Heart (translated into English as The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart). He is currently working on a new graphic novel for the U.S. market.


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