Alejandro Jodorowsky

The Dance of Reality

The_Dance_of_Reality-257200794-largeThe films of Chilean born director Alejandro Jodorowsky have made an indelible mark on how I see the world around me. Back in the 1990s I developed an interest in semiotics just to break down the sigils in the Holy Mountain and that opened the doors to finding out more about the Tarot,. Jewish mysticism and film as a vehicle for magic realism.

Last year I took a twenty two hour (round trip) bus journey to Toronto to see JODOROWSKY’S DUNE. Synchronicity found me sitting behind the director- a very talented fellow named Frank Pavich- and we were able to get to know each other a bit while talking about Jodo’s legacy. Before the DUNE documentary, Jodorowsky had several aborted attempts at making a new film- his last being 1989s Santa Sangre- but no matter how strong the script or how talented the actors he never seemed to get anything off the ground.

Pavich’s DUNE project reunited Alejandro with producer Michel Sydoux and the two teamed up for La Danza de la Realidad- the Dance of Reality. It opened in the States on 23rd May and is hitting select cities nationally.

Philadelphia will be getting it for one week only starting tomorrow- 30th May.

The film opened to rave reviews- scoring a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.6/10 on IMDB. If you’re a regular Occult Vibrations reader, I can almost bet this film will be right up your alley and absolutely worth seeking out.

And Jodorowsky’s DUNE has a June release date on DVD/Blu-ray.



The Coming of a God: Jodorowsky’s DUNE

More great news for today:
After what seems like an eternity, Frank Pavich’s documentary on Jodorowsky’s attempt to bring sci-fi author Frank Herbert’s DUNE to the big screen will be released in North America on 14th March 2014! I know that it’s still five months away, but for those of you in Toronto- it will be screened twice at this years TIFF. Showtime information here:

Jodorowsky’s DUNE had the potential to be the most ambitious adaptation of a novel ever existed; Soundtracks by Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel, appearance by Salvador Dali, production design by Giger and Moebius.. it would have been something to see. We’ll have to settle for the documentary…

September will also grace us with a new film by Jodorowsky; a semi autobiographical film called The Dance of Reality. I never thought we’d see new cinematic work from Alejandro, so I greatly look forward to seeing what may well be his last film. Jodorowsky’s work should be considered syllabus for the majority of OV readers.

Holy Mountain


I’m currently vacationing in Santa Cruz California. Other than a brief post on my personal blog I’ve been pretty lazy with keeping things updated. But when I saw this Holy Mountain torso piece by Simon Erl in my inbox I braved the WordPress iPad app to be able to update from our rental car en route to San Francisco. Simon tells me he has a pretty epic back piece lined up that will appeal to occult cinema nerds; I can’t wait to see it!

Real life awaits us

On it’s own, the Holy Mountain is a surreal film.
One of the founders of the ‘Panic Movement’, along with Fernando Arrabel and Roland Topor, Jodorowsky was no stranger to confrontational imagery and any restraint he had shown in El Topo was left by the roadside when he filmed The Holy Mountain. The saturation of brutal, sacred, visceral, esoteric imagery comes hard and fast as the characters, representing Planetary archetypes, are introduced and the plot is laid out.

Somehow, seeing the Holy Mountain at NYC’s MoMA on Halloween ended up exponentially more surreal than the film itself. Once impossible to find, Jodorowsky’s films are now readily available (El Topo was briefly carried by the Target chain) and appreciated by a much more diverse audience.

It wasn’t really a surprise to see ‘cultural engineer’ Genesis Breyer P-Orridge milling around in the MoMA lobby; for that matter Kembra Pfahler didn’t really seem out of place at a Jodorowsky showing. But the appearance of (the admittedly radiant) Martha Stewart upped the odd quotient and sort of made the night blissfully off kilter.

Add to that (and a trainwreck Courtney Love, Yoko Ono and Willem Defoe) it being Halloween night and the audience peppered with people in costumes… much more memorable than my last Jodorowsky attended screening.

As for the film, it totally holds up. More than that, I noticed things this showing that I had never noticed before; symbolism that I had missed on (so many) previous viewings. Jodorowsky was charming as always though his accent was thicker than I remember and trying to keep up with him during the Q&A had it’s moments.

There were no great revelations; he casually mentioned shooting a new film in his hometown of Tocopilla (Devil’s Corner) Chile next year but the subject was changed before he could let any details slip. He did an impromptu Tarot reading for an audience member without using cards (“call out a number”) Most of all, he charmed almost everyone in attendance.

My only regret was that I didn’t get a chance to ask (the admittedly radiant) Martha Stewart what she thought of the film.

Thanks again to Jenni for arranging the tickets and enjoying the film with me for a second time.

Jodorowsky at MoMa- Halloween

On Monday, October 31st 2011, the MoMA in New York will be hosting a screening of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s iconic The Holy Mountain. Jodorowsky will be introducing the film and as part of MoMA’s “To Save and Protect” project will be participating in “An evening with Alejandro Jodorowsky” afterwards.

A hosted screening of El Topo will be on Tuesday, November 1st.

I can’t think of a better way to spend my Halloween.
Ticket information can be found here: ABKO.

I’ll be there with my fiance; if you see me, please come up and say hi!