After having studied and memorized the seventy-eight Arcana of the Tarot of Marseille, I signed a contract with myself: “Once per week, in whatever popular café, I will give free Tarot readings. This I will do until the end of my life.” I have been completing this promise for more than thirty years. I turned the Tarot reading into a kind of synthetic psychoanalysis that I call “tarology.” Essentially, the goal of tarology is not to guess the future but rather, guided by the Arcana, question the consultant about the past in order to help him or her solve current problems. People of all ages, nationalities, and social, economic, and consciousness levels come to the café where I read their Tarot. There is no lack of those who ask for my advice (the background being a need for permission to do what one dares not do) or for a divination (as positive as possible).… Read the rest
Tag Archives | Alejandro Jodorowsky
Alejandro Jodorowsky is one of my favorite filmmakers, but that won’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows my posts. I’ve seen all of the master’s films and was particularly excited by last year’s release of both The Dance of Reality and the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune. The former was Jodo’s most recent feature film and the elegiac tone of the movie felt a bit like a summing up of a life and a career, and a few friends of mine even opined that they thought it would be the great magician’s last illusion.
Taking a page from the younger set, Jodo has a new Kickstarter campaign underway to fund his next cinematic project. Here’s the skinny…
After a 23 yearlong absence, the director of cult classics El Topo (1969) and Holy Mountain (1973) made his comeback in film direction in 2013 with The Dance of Reality. The film was based on the first part of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s homonymous autobiographical book, depicting his childhood years in Tocopilla, Chile.… Read the rest
Nashville, TN is experiencing a Alejandro Jodorowsky renaissance this month with the Belcourt Theatre’s screenings of some of the auteur’s most important works, leading up to the local premiere of his new film, Dance of Reality.
My fellow local film writers and I all respect the master’s outlandish visuals, his passion for the surreal and his esoteric spiritual explorations, but, of course, his movies aren’t for everyone. After last week’s screening of The Holy Mountain I kept thinking about the film — I’ve watched it many times and this most recent viewing was the second time I’d seen it on the big screen. I came away wondering if I’d seen any other films that paved the way for Jodorowsky, and while early surrealist cinema certainly deserves a nod, if you want to know where Jodo’s roots really dig in, you have to look to the stage, not the screen.
Here’s what the Mutantspace site has to say about Jodorowsky’s Melodrama Sacramental performance piece from 1965…
Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s ‘Melodrama Sacramentral’ was a happening presented by his group, The Panic Movement at the Paris Festival of Free Expression in 1965.… Read the rest
[disinfo ed.’s note: the following is an excerpt from The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography by Alejandro Jodorowsky.]
I began my Tarot reading sessions at the same time that I was writing the comic The Incal for Moebius. The more I progressed with the readings, the more I noticed that all problems have their roots in the family tree. To examine a person’s difficulties is to enter into the psychological atmosphere of his or her family. I realized that we are marked by the psychomental universe of our families. We are marked by their characteristics, but also by their insane ideas, their negative feelings, their inhibited desires, and their destructive acts. The father and mother project all their phantoms onto the expected infant. They want to see him or her do what they themselves could not experience or accomplish. Thus, we assume a personality that is not our own, but comes from one or more members of our emotional environment.… Read the rest
Visionary director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s (El Topo, The Holy Mountain) proposed treatment for Frank Herbert’s Dune is the stuff of legends: The psychedelic sci-fi freakout that could have been. It has been called “the greatest film never made,” and now documentary filmmaker Frank Pavich tells the tale in his film Jodorowsky’s Dune. He recently spoke with NPR’s Scott Simon.
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On the team Jodorowsky gathered for the film
He had a team of artists, which he dubbed his “spiritual warriors.” [There] was a French comic book artist named Moebius [the pseudonym of Jean Giraud] … a British sci-fi artist named Chris Foss … the Swiss surrealist H. R. Giger … and there was a gentleman named Dan O’Bannon who was going to come in and do special effects. And this team of spiritual warriors worked with Jodorowsky for a good two years in Paris.
If you use the tarot to see the future, you become a conman, a charlatan. For me the tarot was something more serious. It was a deep psychological search. When you see the tarot, you see that chance exists, that synchronicity exists, everything is linked. When you deeply enter that dimension that i call the dance of reality the world dances around you and gives you what you seek. We need something to help us pass on to another dimension. The creation of an androgynous thought that leads to a superior mind. When you are linked to everyone there are no enemies.
1980 wasn’t a great year for Alejandro Jodorowsky. Having just barely survived the end of the 1970’s when the film that was to be his magnum opus — an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic Dune — fell apart for the final time, Jodo was anxious to get back to work. He agreed to make a children’s film.
At first, the idea of the anarchist auteur making a movie for kids might sound odd, but Tusk (Poo Lorn L’Elephant) told a tale about the shared fate of an English girl and an Indian elephant. The story had the kind of spiritual overtones that Jodo had marshaled so furiously in The Holy Mountain and the coming of age tale shared some similarities with El Topo — even the Indian locations promised exotic settings that surely inspired the director.
Alas, a classic it was not meant to be. Tusk is roundly criticized by those who’ve been able to see it — the only home release is an un-subtitled French language version on VHS.… Read the rest
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Created by four hands, a third artist is born. The artistic communion, first drawn by Jodorowsky and then infused with colour by Montandon, levitates between fantasy, tragedy, humor and spirituality — all of which recall the essence of mysticism and symbolic theatrics in Jodorowsky’s films.
Sophie Pinchetti: Your collaborative work seems to converge around spirituality. Where does your interest come from?
Alejandro Jodorowsky: Spirituality is abstract. True art leads you to the discovery of your spirit. It’s not the quest, it’s the application, the practice of spirituality.
Pascale Montandon: In the same way I was simply going to say that it is a way of being in the world, a way of living. And obviously when you do an artistic work, the material of work is oneself.
Psychomagic is the newest book by the legendary surrealist filmmaker, comics author, Tarot expert and therapist, Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Psychomagic: The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy is the brand new English translation of Jodorowsky’s poetic-action therapy techniques. The book first appeared in Spanish in 2008. It’s published by Inner Traditions and was released on June 18, 2010.
The book is separated into 3 sections, keeping Jodorowsky’s wide-ranging ramblings carefully collected. Writer Gilles Farcet interacts with the author in the book’s first chapters which are written in a Q&A format.
An introductory essay by Farcet makes it clear that their “interview” consisted of his enduring an expansive, multi-layered monologue from Jodorowsky which was only later recast in the Q&A structure. The “knowing teacher vs. baffled student” feel of this section is absolutely delightful, and the disarming approach allows the deeper implications of Jodorowsky’s ideas to take the reader by surprise. … Read the rest