Alejandro Jodorowsky on His Retrospective in Miami: "I am a Cloud"
Cult film legend Alejandro Jodorowsky burst on to the art film world in the late 1960s with a style of cinema that offended audience members and frustrated film programmers. His debut film Fando and Lis premiered at the Acapulco Film Festival in 1968 and caused a riot in the mostly Catholic country of Mexico; Jodorowsky received death threats and the film was banned due to its subversion and, some would say, perversion of holy imagery. His next film, 1970's El Topo (The Mole), takes on spirituality in a different way, reveling in the violence of a spaghetti western. A theater programmer in New York City found it played best at midnight, and "midnight movies" were born.
Jodorowsky and a cat, because this is the Internet.
Jodorowsky has produced a smattering of films since, but stopped dabbling in film after his most mainstream movie, 1990's The Rainbow Thief, which starred Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif. He later disowned that film as part of his oeuvre, and spent most of the following 20 years writing. He has now returned with a new film based on his book inspired by his true-life upbringing in Chile, The Dance of Reality, currently in post-production.
This Sunday, the interactive media industry festival Filmgate will end its three-day festival at the Miami Beach Cinematheque with a screening of El Topo introduced by Jodorowsky and his eldest son (who also appeared in the movie as a 7-year-old boy) via Skype.
Yesterday, Jodorowsky took some time out from his work on The Dance of Reality to respond to some questions New Times sent via email. This conversation is translated from Spanish:
How do you feel about a cosmopolitan city like Miami holding a retrospective screening of your work?
........ I am not what I was, I am not what you think I am, I am what I am. A retrospective is what I was. Had I not tamed my ego, I'd be interested what I was in the history of cinema, but as I live in the living moment, i.e. the present, neither the past nor the future moves me... Today, I am nothing but in progress, continually changing. If you ask me my name, I will say call me "cloud." If I add Miami, I'd incorporate go -- "go" in English, as in Mi-ami-go, mi amigo. In short, we do not live in countries but the planet Pangea. All cities are cosmopolitan.