Brontis Jodorowsky on His Father's New Film The Dance of Reality
He says he also has quite vivid memories of the making the film. "There is this scene where El Topo and his son arrive at a town, in the beginning of the film. There has been a massacre there, and everybody's killed, even the animals, and they go out of the church and they see, I think it's the former sheriff, that is so wounded that he is begging to be killed, 'Mercy, mercy, please kill me,' so El Topo gives the gun to his son and the son kills the guy. This is the education of a cowboy."
He says his dad likes to capture spontaneity on the set. In El Topo, Brontis had never held a gun in his life, and it shows. "We didn't rehearse this thing with the gun, so he gave me the gun. It was the first time in my life that I held a gun, so it was quite heavy for a 6-year-old kid, and I had to shoot, so I had to pull the trigger. It was so hard for a little hand to pull this trigger on this silver Colt, but I had to do it. We shot that just once. There was only one or two shots of every [take]."
The film came out during the peak of the psychedelic era, and the imagery and story has had a more profound influence on pop culture than most would ever notice. El Topo paved the way for surrealist filmmakers like David Lynch and influenced musicians like Peter Gabriel at his most bizarre, in his early Genesis days. But to Brontis, it also brought him closer than ever to his father. "The happiest place for us is when we are creating something together."
"The Alchemist: Alejandro Jodorowsky" kicks off Sunday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. with a live introduction by Jodorowsky and his son via Skype and a screening of El Topo (1970). On Feb. 7 at 8:30 p.m. Fando y Lis (1968) will screen. Holy Mountain (1973) screens Feb. 21 at 8:30 p.m. The festival ends Feb. 28 with Santa Sangre (1989) at 7 p.m. Visit mbcinema.com for details and tickets.
Follow Hans Morgenstern on Twitter @indieethos.