Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Forget Everything You Have Ever Seen.
A young man is confined in a mental hospital. Through a flashback we see that he was traumatized as a child, when he and his family were circus performers: he saw his father cut off the arms of his mother, a religious fanatic and leader of the heretical church of Santa Sangre ("Holy Blood"), and then commit suicide. Back in the present, he escapes and rejoins his surviving and armless mother.
This is my first foray into an Alejandro Jodorowsky film and I must say, I am already convinced that this man is a visionary. Santa Sangre is so surreal at times that I am thankful for the seemingly random jolt of violence which brings me back to the story.
Interestingly enough, in a movie which has a major comment on the influence people have over their children, Jodorowsky casts his own children to play the younger and older version of the main character, Fenix. The similarities in their appearance making it almost unbelievably believable that the 10-year-old version of Fenix is the same Fenix as the adult version.
Fenix grows up as a young magician in a circus, his father…
The film that defies description and genre pigeonholing!
Better than shrooms or dropping acid!
Lube your medulla oblongata and grab the bedpost Alejandro Jodorowsky's into prolonged mind F#cks!
My first step into the bizarre world of Jodorowsky ... and I already can't wait to take another.
I was told that Santa Sangre is (possibly) his most "accessible" film. If that is the case, then I can't even imagine what the hell could be in store for me with El Topo and The Holy Mountain. There was not one moment of this film where I thought, "Wow, that was pretty ordinary."
And that's honestly one of the main things I loved most about it.
Alejandro Jodorowsky is the owner of a powerful imagination, a guy who does not know the meaning of the word impossible, a guy who has no limits and who offers his audience the possibility of imagining and dreaming, of experiencing new worlds.
Produced by Dario Argento's brother - Claudio Argento -, Santa Sangre is a horror melodrama that is basically divided in two halfs. In the first half, we are able to see the mad atmosphere that surrounds the life of a young boy named Fenix. Set in a circus, the first half is partially influenced by Federico Fellini in the way the director builds his world, but always with a unique touch of himself. In the second half, Alejandro…
Tonights viewing was Santa Sangre, directed and written by surrealist filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky. The film is about a boy who, when little, witnessed his father cut his mothers arms off in a fit of rage after she threw acid on his genitals as revenge for his infidelities. The father then cuts his own throat in front of the boy. When older, the boy ends up in a mental institution but escapes when his armless mother calls him from across the street. He then performs on-stage with his mum as a double act with him providing her arms.
It's very hard for me to review this film objectively. I'm an IT engineer. I'm a practical thinker. A linear thinker. I just…
This is not just a movie…THIS is a cinematic orgasm! For start to finish, "Santa Sangre" stands for one brilliant sequence after another, a staggering use of color shades, sensational musical guidance, disturbing themes and some of the most original story ideas that never ever featured in cinema before! To sum the film up in simply one word, it would be: AMAZING! I caught myself staring at the screen with my eyes and mouth wide open most of the time and I kept on thinking how I never wanted this movie to end. "Santa Sangre" unhesitatingly catapulted itself in my top-5 movies of all-time and I sincerely think it's there to stay. It's not very often that you encounter a…
"My hands... My hands! My hands!"
I just... don't get it. Okay, I get it, I simply did not find this film nearly as masterful, haunting or disturbing as others. Bizarre? Yes, but mostly unintriguing. It's like the mother/son relationship in Psycho as interpreted by a hardcore Fellini fanatic who has seen a lot of Giallo films, especially Dario Argento's work - particularly Suspiria one too many times, which makes sense seeing that Claudio Argento (Dario's brother) helped write and produce the film. That being said, the lighting and cinematography are quite stunning at times, if seemingly lifted from that aforementioned film. There are so many laughable moments - anytime Concha demands her son, Fenix, kill a woman - that I would almost venture to say are intentional bits of humor, but I'm not sure. It's so, so... silly. I just don't get the point of it all.
Alejandro Jodorowsky almost never disappoints and Santa Sangre is no different. Although some of the formal techniques employed in this piece are quite different from the rest of his body of work, it undoubtably has the trappings of any of Jodorowsky's works. Present here is a surrealist deconstruction of a man unable to escape his past and the projects put upon him by his parents. For those well versed in Jodorowsky's beliefs, this probably sounds familiar, as it's the foundation of the spiritual therapy he created, psychomagic, a practice which suggests the trauma we experience in our lives is created as a result of the projections our parents place on us as children and the internal conflict we face when…
Retelling of PSYCHO with a Fellini-Tod Browning circus backdrop & flashes of Dario Argento luridness, which isn't surprising, as his brother produced it. Throw in bits of CARRIE & "Santo" Mexican wrestling & you have: a lumbering, stupid mess. Few things I hate more than movies that attempt to be mind-blowing but end up mind-numbing. Guess I'm just no Jodorowsky fan; I hated EL TOPO, too. 3/10
A surreal conversation with filmmakers as diverse as Fellini, Hitchcock and Tod Browning. Whatever you decide the film is "saying," there's no denying that it says it superbly.
Cf. Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural
Shit F u CK????
This is my first Alejandro Jodorowsky film, and after viewing both Jodorowsky's art and Greenaway's art (The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover) I have to say I feel ready for anything.
Santa Sangre is part HG Wells, part Psycho, part epic tragedy, part love story, part circus act, part tarot reading. The film's surreal world feels right for the story Jodorowsky is telling and the nightmarish tone he creates. It's a story that frightens (some might consider this a horror film), while it is also a story that is deeply sad, and, in the end, redemptive.
Santa Sangre is a ride, and one worth taking.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The movie ended and I sat there, staring into the credits as my mind tried to wrap itself around the beauty and horror of the final act.
I am a man who loves his juxtapositions and Jodorowsky's got that all figured out. The elephant's funeral scene is a prime example of his talent in blending contrasting elements; we get to see the solemn gathering of circus performers (still in costume) mourn for a dead elephant atop a cliff. The elephant is placed in a coffin situated on a ramp angled downward with a thick rope as the only thing stopping its rapid descent into the wasteland below. A crowd of less fortunate folk begins to form near the drop zone,…
One of the most bizarre and beatiful films that I`ve seen. That combination presented in such a way that shows the imagination of Alejandro Jodorowsky, but in this case with a narrative structure more easy to understand than his previous films ("El topo" was too strange for me). One of the things that I liked the most was the sort of serie B "look" of the movie but with the touch of quality of the director and his personal touch in every frame. It`s like a combination between Carpenter and Kubrick. A must see for every cult movie fan.
By the way, I saw this movie recently because Jodorowsky himself tweeted a link in his twitter account @alejodorowsky where the movie can be downloaded for free. So enjoy it!
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).
Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.