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Arrow announces 4K restorations of the Alejandro Jodorowsky triptych

11 December 2019

Arrow Films has announced, in association with ABKCO Films, a rare cinema outing next year, for three visionary, surrealist classics from the legendary, hugely influential Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky, presented in stunning 4k restorations.

The ultimate arthouse auteur, the celebrated director, beloved by the likes of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Dennis Hopper and David Lynch, has been an influence on everything from Alien, The Exorcist, the imagery of Marilyn Manson, and even the songs of Noel Gallagher, Marina Abramovic’ and Kanye West. A unique, extraordinary figure in the cinematic landscape, this is a rare chance for audiences to see three of his films in all their breathtaking, visionary glory.

Jodorowsky, with his talented troupe of actors, including his son Brontis Jodorowsky (star of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald), and top-flight crew, including Gonzalo Gavira (the sound technician who won an Oscar for The Exorcist) and Marcelino Pachecho (who went on to do special effects for Apocalypto), set the benchmark for extraordinary, ground-breaking and boundary-pushing cinema.

All three titles will also be released as a Limited Edition Blu-ray set in March 2020. Full details will be posted nearer to the release date.

El Topo

EL TOPO (1970)
Director Jodorowsky himself plays ‘The Mole’ of the title: a black-clad, master-gunfighter. In the first half, El Topo journeys across a desert dreamscape with his young son to duel with four sharp-shooting Zen masters, who each bestow a Great Lesson before they die. In the second half, El Topo becomes the guru of a subterranean tribe of deformed outcasts who he must liberate from depraved cultists in a neighbouring town.

El Topo, the director’s most violent and notorious film, is a mind-blowing ‘acid-western’ which Time Out said is an ‘aesthetically intoxicating trip’. The film shocked and bedazzled audiences upon its controversial original release – and single-handedly invented the American ‘Midnight Movie’ phenomenon. A countercultural masterpiece, which ingeniously combines iconic Americana symbolism with Jodorowsky’s own idiosyncratic surrealist aesthetic, El Topo is an incredible journey through nightmarish violence, mind-bending mysticism and awe-inspiring imagery.

The Holy Mountain

‘Jodorowsky casts himself as The Alchemist’, a guru who guides a troupe of pilgrims, each representing a planet of the Solar System, on a magical quest to Lotus Island where they must ascend the Holy Mountain in search of spiritual enlightenment.

The scandal of the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, The Holy Mountain, Jodorowsky’s most ambitious film (part-funded, thanks to John Lennon, by music boss Allen Klein), is a sprawling phantasmagoria of sacrilegious visual excess and existential yearning, which the New York Times described as ‘dazzling’.

Fando Y Lis

FANDO Y LIS (1968)
Fando and his paraplegic sweetheart Lis embark on a mystical journey through a series of surreal scenarios to find the enchanted city of Tar. On the way, they journey through urban desolation, scorched deserts and towering mountains, whilst encountering a series of terrifying and sometimes moving characters.

Boasting some of his most disturbing images, Jodorowsky’s stunning feature-length debut, Fando Y Lis, is an extraordinarily ambitious and intense adaptation of a controversial play by Fernando Arrabal. A bizarre tale of corrupted innocence and tortured love rendered in searing, high-contrast black and white, Fando Y Lis incited a full-scale riot when it was first screened at the 1968 Acapulco film festival. Film4 said the film ‘leaves Fellini and Buñuel spluttering in its dust’.