A former circus artist escapes from a mental hospital to rejoin his armless mother - the leader of a strange religious cult - and is forced to enact brutal murders in her name as he becomes "her arms".
Alejandro Jodorowsky is a film-maker who has made a number of very odd avant-garde movies. He is one of the most prominent surrealists in cinema history. Four of his films, primarily, are considered classics of the genre, namely, Fando and Lis (1968), El Topo (1973), The Holy Mountain (1974) and Santa Sangre (1989). With all of this in mind, a documentary about the man sounds like a great idea, given that watching his films generates quite a lot more questions than they do answers and his style overall is as highly personal and distinctive as they come.
I would have to say, however, that this film, while interesting in some ways, is a bit lacking overall. Rather than focus mainly on his films, it looks more squarely at the man and covers not just his movies but his work in theatre and his personal philosophies also. There aren't really a lot of clips from the said movies to be honest and some aren't even covered at all, like in the case of Santa Sangre. He doesn't really say too much about any of them on the whole though. This is all unfortunate, given that it's Jodorowsky's filmography that is principally what makes him interesting. Having said that, there were some fascinating deviations, such as the material concerning the Panic Movement, which was a French theatre group who put on improvised shows with very provocative content. The clips of this are pretty memorable to say the least. While it was also interesting to learn more about the aborted project for a film version of Dune to be directed by him. His ideas certainly sounded fascinating and what we are left with are many drawings and one of the great cinematic 'what ifs'. But quite a lot of the running time is dedicated to his work as an unorthodox lecturer and we hear a great deal about his spiritual musings. These are occasionally interesting – such as the sequence involving the family tree of the director of this film – but on the whole this stuff is of much less interest than Jodorowsky's cinematic work. In the final analysis, this is certainly a film not without quite a bit of interest but one which would have been a lot better with more focus.
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