John Lennon champions this disturbing ’70s acid western

Trigger warning: The following content is disturbingly sexually offensive.


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After the Beatles broke up in 1970, they each continued to create their own music independently and recognized the work of other up-and-coming creators. The Beatles’ Apple Corps label continued to support up-and-coming performers like Badfinger, and their creative support extended to the world of cinema. Most famously, george harrison To finance a Monty Python movie, he mortgaged his house brian’s lifeHarrison claims the filmmakers did in the ’70s what the Beatles did in the ’60s.However, lesser known John LennonParticipation recognition Alejandro Jodorowskiacid western el topowhich is a frightening feature, especially given the extremely problematic nature of the circumstances surrounding filmmaking.

This 1970 Mexican film, translated as “The Mole,” opens with the eponymous character (played by writer-director Jodorowski himself) and his naked cherubic son (played by his real-life Son) on horseback. Brontis Jodorowski). After discovering the ruins of a slaughtered town, El Topo tracked down the perpetrators and killed them, inviting their captive woman, Mara (Mara Lorenzio) to join him, leaving his son Richeng with the monks he rescued. Later, El Topo appears to rape Mara, and oddly, her attitude towards El Topo changes to a more liberal and adventurous one. Mara said she refused to fully love El Topo until he found and defeated the four famous fighters in the desert and proved himself the best. However, this mission only appears for 30-plus minutes in the film and ends about two-thirds of the way through the film. From there, the betrayed El Topo embarks on a different mission, helping the disabled caveman escape his doom.this is just the tip of the iceberg el topoThe tip of the ridiculous iceberg!

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What is El Topo really about?

A Man Rides Across the Desert in El Topo (1970)
Image via ABKCO Films

During the mission to defeat the Four Lords of the Desert, the character’s doubts about his mission grew day by day. Each master represented a different Judeo-Christian practice or Eastern philosophy, and although they outsmarted him and overwhelmed him, he defeated each of them by skill and luck alone. It wasn’t until Mara became lovers with another woman that El Topo was forced to come to terms with his betrayal, and was later inspired by a group of subterranean cave dwellers who were disabled and unable to escape. However, as explained at the beginning of the movie, this subterranean environment is not where El Topo (or “The Mole”) gets its name. “The Mole tunnels under the ground, looking for the sun. Sometimes he reaches the surface. When he sees the sun, he goes blind.” Although this imagery is referenced in the film’s climax, “El Topo,” when it bursts through the tunnel wall, But it lends itself to a metaphorical reading as well. This may be a reference to the biblical story of Paul becoming Saul, which would explain the chapter titles of the stories (Genesis, Prophets, Psalms, etc.). Ultimately, the film’s absurd style insists on experience rather than explanation, leaving its true meaning to each viewer.

el topo Released in 1970, the Spaghetti Western had long dominated the Western genre. Spaghetti Westerns’ tales of the American frontier were more artistic and authentic than those told in Hollywood, and they were mostly shot in Italy on a low budget. Although this is where the subgenre got its name from, it developed a visual, auditory and performance style so unique that other countries and cultures soon became known for their take on the spaghetti western genre as well. . One of these “sub-genres” is the “acid western,” which blends the religious tropes of the original Hollywood Western with the modern twist of the Spaghetti Western. el topo The BBC called it the original acid western.

‘El Topo’ was always meant for American audiences

Alejandro Jodorowsky as El Topo in El Topo (1970)
Image via ABKCO Films

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a Chilean-French avant-garde filmmaker born in Chile to Ukrainian-Jewish parents. his first movie, Vandor and Reesefollowing Doom Survivor Fando (Sergio Kleiner) and his paraplegic girlfriend Liz (Diana Mariska) They traveled through the wasteland to find the mythical city of Taal and obtain enlightenment. The film premiered at the Acapulco Film Festival in 1968, sparking riots over its controversial content and leading to a ban in Mexico. It wasn’t released there again until 1972, a year after it was re-dubbed and edited.when jodorowski shot el topo In Mexico, it was never designed for a Mexican audience, but instead focused on New York City’s modern art scene.there , owner of the elgin theater Ben Barenholz Despite several viewers walking out, after being mesmerized by the film, an unsuccessful attempt was made to purchase the US rights. However, Barenholz did succeed in convincing producers to show the film at his theater.

A lover of New York’s avant-garde art scene, John Lennon appeared in the audience one evening and discovered el topo Deliciously surreal.Jodorowski later recalled: “When I put el topo In New York, no one understood the painting. But John Lennon understood.john and Yoko Onothey presented el topo In America; they introduced it. ’ Lennon urges Beatles manager Alan Klein Investing in Jodorowski’s future work, Klein’s company ABKCO Films soon became el topoThe U.S. distributor of the film has released the film across the country.at lennon’s request, the composer john barham The score was even re-recorded at Abbey Road Studios and published on Apple Records. Thanks in large part to John Lennon, el topo became an underground sensation and made Jodorowski a famous artist and filmmaker. But it’s not without controversy.

How did the influence of John Lennon lead to the rise and fall of Alejandro Jodorowski?

Alejandro Jodorowsky as El Topo and Mara Lorenzio as Marah in El Topo (1970)
Image via ABKCO Films

In trying to promote his shocking film, Alejandro Jodorowski tried to shock the media by saying: “I put a clause in all women’s contracts that they wouldn’t have sex with the director ’” is quoted in the 1972 book El Topo: The Book of Movies Jodorowsky himself. “We went to the desert with two other people: a cameraman and a technician. There was no one else. I said, ‘I’m not going to rehearse. I’m just going to do it once because it’s impossible to repeat.(.. .) I really Raped her. She screamed.” Later, in the midst of the #MeToo movement, Jodorowski claimed to have made up the story because it was shocking and expressed regret when confronted with his remarks. “I admit that this statement is problematic because it uses fictional violence against women as a vehicle for exposure, and fifty years later, I regret that this has been read as fact. My practice is based on therapy and love Center. I invite further dialogue in a progressive spirit.”

back el topoJodorowski used Alan Klein’s investment to produce the 1973 holy mountain, the leading role of the film was originally invited to George Harrison. Jodorowski claims Harrison said no because in one scene he needed to bare his anus next to a live hippo for the camera.Klein instructs Jodorowski to adapt his next film from French BDSM novel O’s storyBut Klein removed Jodorowski’s existing films from his company’s distribution slate for more than three decades when Jodorowski’s genetic material was rejected as sexist, according to the BBC. Ultimately, Lennon’s efforts to connect Klein and Jodorowski will explain the writer-director’s rise and fall.

Despite the unorthodox style of Jodorowski’s filmmaking, it’s interesting how obscure Jodorowski’s image has become over the years.His work has inspired some of the world’s most famous art film directors, including david lynch and Nicolas Winding Refnand el topo special quote as inspiration Gore Verbinskiof Rango. It is said that Rangoof johnny depp side by side with the stars marilyn manson in the sequel el topo is called Abel Kane or son of el topo, but Jodorowski struggled to raise funds. The sequel ended up being a graphic novel. Somewhat tragically, Jodorowski’s most famous film today is arguably a documentary about his version. dune An adaptation he never did.Instead, Jodorowski fan David Lynch was hired to adapt frank herbertspace epic novel. Jodorowski’s dunes Demonstrating how countless hours of work and dedication by filmmakers can go by the wayside without proper support, underscoring Lennon’s dedication to el topo All the more important for Jodorowski’s work to be seen.

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