El Topo with Ben Barenholtz (Off-site at the Vista)

This event will take place at the Vista, located at 4473 Sunset Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

The original midnight movie – “A film too heavy to be shown any other way.”

If you mixed Federico Fellini, Sergio Leone, and a heavy dose of psilocybin in a blender, you might arrive at something close to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “acid western” masterpiece, El Topo. Part spaghetti western, part surreal philosophical allegory, the film – starring the director himself as the black leather-clad, vision-questing gunslinger – is a crystallization of his peccadilloes, including explosive, blood-gouting violence, deformed and/or mutilated characters working in tandem, nudity, and, most crucially, Eastern themes and Judeo-Christian imagery. And yet somehow, despite all the craziness, the film is an expanding, spiritual journey that is as entertaining as it is resonant – a feat Jodorowsky would repeat in his equally miraculous Holy Mountain. It’s easy to see why midnight movie trippers embraced El Topo and made a countercultural icon of Jodorowsky – you don’t have to be high to get it, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

With Ben Barenholtz – the man who literally invented the midnight movie, as a marketing stunt for El Topo’s original release! – in person.

Dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970, DCP, 125 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!