The Films Of Alejandro Jodorowsky – El Topo
+ The Holy Mountain (1970/73/Anchor
B/B+ Sound: B Extras: B- Films: B+
It was a
long journey for El Topo and The Holy Mountain to come to DVD,
filled with speculation and rumor. Originally it seemed as though they would be
arriving courtesy of Fantoma, though that was not to be. Instead they would wind up being released
through Anchor Bay in 2007 as the two key titles in the
DVD set The Films of Alejandro
Jodorowsky. Now they can be seen in
stunning high definition as well since Anchor Bay
and ABKCO have re-teamed to bring them out on Blu-ray.
films play like the work of a passionate artist eager to explore the world
within the frame, not caring too much of the mistakes that would be made along
the way (of which there are the inevitable few). While both of them lack the polish that his
later work Santa Sangre (reviewed
elsewhere on this site, see link below) would have when it came out almost two
decades later, they are each good in their own way, and deserving of being
considered classic cinema.
initially saw the films a few years ago, I was left unimpressed – my
expectations were off, and I just wasn't in a frame of mind to enjoy them for
what they are. I've revisited the films
a few times since then, and each time I've watched them, I've come to
appreciate them more and also understand a little of where Jodorowsky was
coming from when he made them.
quality on these releases is excellent, both being shown in 1080p with El Topo presented in its original full
frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio and The Holy
Mountain in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Both films have good audio as well, with 5.1
DTS-HD Master Audio mixes and optional 2.0 PCM stereo. Special features include an on camera
interview with Jodorowsky on El Topo,
and a look into the restoration work on The
Holy Mountain, while they both receive a director commentary track and a
theatrical trailer as well.
restoration work and HD transfers were done for both of these films at the time
that set released, the director's first feature film, Fando y Lis, was left untouched, meaning it may be a while yet
until we see that title on Blu-ray. The
previously mentioned DVD box set included that, as well as an extra short and
two soundtrack CDs over what these discs have to offer. So if superior picture and sound quality take
a backseat to getting more bonus content, then the DVD set is still the better
way for you to go.
who take the time to sit through and really watch these movies, the reward can
be great. I cannot guarantee that going
into these is going to be the same for you as it was for me. Chances are good that you could warm to them
right off the bat. But for those who for
whatever reason just couldn't get with it the first time, giving some time and
revisiting them further down the road might be all that you need to enjoy them
to the fullest.
on these films, try this link for our coverage of the DVD releases:
also read about Santa Sangre at this