Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Melodrama Sacramental (France; Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1965)

   I didn't have time to watch a feature today so I checked out this Jodorowsky short I had stashed somewhere; but even a short Jodorowsky film is quite an experience in itself. In this case, we are privy to parts of a four-hour performance piece that took place at the Paris Festival of Free Expression, arranged by Jodorowsky's Panic Movement, a group led by Jorodowsky, Fernando Arabal and Roland Topor and focused on producing surrealist and abusurdist theatrical performances. Hard to describe in any specific way, this random presentation of various individual performances is simultaneously funny, uncomfortable and disturbing, displaying disparate acts ranging from stripping individuals convulsing to drum-dominated free-jazz and samurais attempting what looks a like an alien autopsy. Intently absurd and meant not to be taken seriously, Melodrama Sacramental is a rare glimpse into the baggage behind the delightfully twisted imagination responsible for such cult classics as El Topo (1970) and Holy Mountain (1973).

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