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 halves. 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 Jodorowsky offers…
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…
SANTE SANGRE is a pretty awful film. I watched it with my head in my hands, my expression ranging from utter bafflement, to head-shaking dismay, to the occasional burst of laughing disbelief at the lunacy I was watching.
The plot revolves around the troubled Fenix. As a boy, he lived in the circus, where his mother was a trapeze artist, and also apparently a priestess of a cult-like temple for a made-up saint. Fenix's mother gets her arms sliced off in a traumatic event that sends him to the asylum until he's a young adult, at which point he escapes and reunites with his amputee mother. They start a vaudeville act where he acts as her arms, but her influence…
Before Santa sangre, I had already seen two Jodorowsky films, "La montaña sagrada" and "Fando y Lis", and I have to say Santa sangre is the most accesible one, although it's still a quite bizarre film, as least in the first act and at some bits of the others. I really liked the first act, when Felix and Alma are still young, because of the story, the natural chemistry between the characters and the atmosphere of the bizarre world, as every minute there's something new that adds to the world; however, as a musician, I couldn't stand the out-of-tune instruments nor the wrong notes of the orchestras at times, as well as the overacting of some secondary characters (priest of…
Simultaneously a horror film and not; it's fascinating how Jodorowsky makes use of almost every element of traditional horror but ends up with something completely unrecognizable as such. You could chalk that up to the film's odd rhythms, slow, symbolic and overwrought like mime (of course it's no accident that the lead actor had worked as a mime before); you could chalk it up to the film's endless repeating patterns; you could chalk it up to the way it treats taboos as if they simply didn't exist, presenting scenes like a man attempting to force-feed his prosthetic ear to a young woman and a group of retarded people snorting cocaine with the same kind of bemused pity; or you could chalk it up to genius.
"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????
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.