EL TOPO (1970)

Alejandro Jodorowsky

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Cast: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, José Legarreta
Country: Mexico
Year: 1970
Running time: 125 minutes
Territory: Benelux
Format: 4K DCP
Language: Spanish
Subtitle options: English, Dutch

The 1970 “psychedelic western” El Topo follows a brazen gunslinger who abandons his young son in a quest to defeat four masters before being rescued by an underground cadre of little people, paraplegic and disfigured individuals who are shunned by society. Championed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, the film started the “midnight movie” phenomenon, playing at the Elgin Theater in New York for years. The former Beatle would buy the rights to El Topo and secure funding for Jodorowsky’s next film, The Holy Mountain.

Classic Americana and avant-garde European sensibilities collide with Zen Buddhism and the Bible as the mystic title character (played by Alejandro Jodorowsky) takes a bizarre path to allegorical self-awareness and resurrection. As it seeks an alternative to the Hollywood mainstream, El Topo remains the most controversial and violent quasi-Western head trip ever made.

This stunning and vibrant 4K restoration, from the original negative, is presented in 4:3 as it was presented in theaters in 1970, but is also available for the first time in 1:85 widescreen, overseen by Mr. Jodorowsky, who originally envisioned El Topo as a widescreen presentation, in homage to Sergio Leone.

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