Sunday, March 02, 2008

Film of the Week - El Topo

Never have I ever finished a movie and been baffled, confused, enraptured and truly freaked out all at the same time. After hearing one of the most addictive video games as of late, No More Heroes took some strange parallels to a film called El Topo, I had no choice but to bump it to the top of my Netflix queue and see what this film was all about. What I didn't know was I was in store for absolute insanity of epic proportions. This is a film not to be missed for anyone who doesn't mind having their mind fucked.

Alejandro Jodorowsky, director and actor in El Topo really knows how to pour on the visual content. Overload it if you will. From the stunning first shot of a rider shrouded in black holding an umbrella over his head with his young, naked son contrasted in ghostly white riding behind him, you know that this is going to be a visceral film as apposed to any film bathed in compelling storytelling. The story follows El Topo who is a gunslinger. After saving a young maiden from a savage and ruthless killer who takes over a Franciscan monastery to make it his own private fortress, he is commissioned to hunt down the four best gunslingers who can be found in the blistering Mexican desert.

From there on, the story kind of just reels out of control. The real triumph of this film as many of Jodorowsky followers already know is it's intense visuals. It's a masterpiece of visual cinema. Alothough this film predates Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, you can clearly tell that the violence and sexual depravity of that film may have taken some sort of visual influence from this film. Zoom shots of breathtaking beauty and colors that paint the screen like a sunset in summer. Here is the trailer. Sad;y, the quality of the Youtube trailer ain't to great, but you can get a sense of whats going on.

It's beyond like anything I have seen and I definitely suggest seeing it more than once to fully grasp it's savage beauty.

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