- Running time114 minutes
Jodorowsky’s visually arresting, completely surreal, fantasy masterpiece follows a powerful alchemist who leads a Christ-like character and seven materialistic figures to the Holy Mountain, where they hope to achieve enlightenment. Drug-fuelled cemetery parties, a living art museum, and a sex machine are only snippets of the intense imagery which combines to create one of the most confusingly brilliant films you will ever see.
A complete trip in its opulent visuals alone, Jodorowsky’s notorious offering also boasts a satirical bite against a corrupt, greed-fueled world. It launches attacks on religion, consumerism, facisim, and generally disregards or humiliates all elements of established authority throughout.
The film - partly financed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and produced by Beatles manager Allen Klein - was made largely in Mexico in 1973 for what was then a very extravagant budget. In preparation, Jodorowsky studied with a Zen master and with a disciple of George Gurdijeff, an early 20th century Russian mystic, philosopher, and spiritual teacher. Part of his training involved sleep deprivation (he claims he went a week without sleep) and taking LSD for the first time, as well as administering psilocybin mushrooms to the actors during the ‘rebirth’ scene. The influence of this preparation could not be more clearly felt in the final product…
And if that doesn’t convince you of the film’s unprecedented lack of visual limitations, apparently it was a huge influence on Kanye West’s 2013 Yeezus tour.
Leading up to Psych Fest, FACT and Picturehouse present a special season of Psychedelia in film inspired by Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia. There will also be a series of artist-made shorts curated by FACT showing in the Festival’s cinema space for Psych Fest pass holders.
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