Directed by: Alejandro Jodorowsky
1970 | Mexico | 125 minutes
Friday, November 3, 2017, 7pm
Originally released in 1970, Alejandro Jodorowsky's El Topo quickly caught the imagination of movie audiences, becoming a landmark in independent film-making. The early screenings at New York’s Elgin Theater sparked the Midnight Movie phenomena, catalyzed by an endorsement from John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Classic Americana and avant-garde European sensibilities collide with Zen Buddhism and the Bible as master gunfighter and mystic El Topo (played by writer/director Alejandro Jodorowsky) tries to defeat four sharp-shooting rivals on a bizarre path to allegorical self-awareness and resurrection. As it seeks an alternative to the Hollywood mainstream, El Topo is also the most controversial quasi-Western head trip ever made!
"The film is by turns comic and profound, hysterical and pompous, fully complex enough to deserve more than a simple yea or nay." - Jay Cocks, TIME Magazine
"Jodorowsky dazzles us with such delicate mythological footwork that the violence becomes distanced, somehow, and we accept it like the slaughters in the Old Testament." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
This film is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas, on view at UCR ARTSblock from September 16, 2017 through February 4, 2018. The film program is curated by Sherryl Vint, Director of the Speculative Fiction and Cultures of Science program at UCR, with support from Nikolay Maslov, Curator of Film and Media Projects at UCR ARTSblock.
Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.
Major support for Mundos Alternos is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation.