Alejandro Jodorowsky Prullansky(born 17 February 1929) is a Chilean-French filmmaker, playwright, actor, author, comics writer and spiritual guru. Best known for his avant-garde films, he has been "venerated by cult cinema enthusiasts" for his work which "is filled with violently surreal images and a hybrid blend of mysticism and religious provocation."
Born to Jewish Ukrainian parents in Chile, Jodorowsky experienced an unhappy and alienated childhood, and so immersed himself in reading and writing poetry. Dropping out of college, he became involved in theater and in particular mime, working as a clown before founding his own theater troupe, the Teatro Mimico, in 1947. Moving to Paris in the early 1950s, Jodorowsky studied mime under Etienne Decroux before turning to cinema, directing the short film Les têtes interverties in 1957. From 1960 he divided his time between Paris and Mexico City, in the former becoming a founding member of the anarchistic avant-garde Panic Movement of performance artists. In 1966 he created his first comic strip, Anibal 5, whilst in 1967 he directed his first feature film, the surrealist Fando y Lis, which caused a huge scandal in Mexico, eventually being banned.
His next film, the acid western El Topo (1970), became a hit on the midnight movie circuit in the United States, considered as the first-ever midnight cult film, leading rock star John Lennon to provide Jodorowsky with $1 million to finance his next film. The result was The Holy Mountain (1973), a surrealist exploration of western esotericism. Disagreements with the film's distributor Allen Klein however led to both The Holy Mountain and El Topo failing to gain widespread distribution, although both became classics on the underground film circuit.
After a botched attempt at filming Frank Herbert's novel Dune, Jodorowsky produced three more films, the family film Tusk (1980), the surrealist horror Santa Sangre (1989) and the failed blockbuster The Rainbow Thief (1990). Since then, his attempts at producing further films have not come to fruition. Meanwhile, he has simultaneously written a series of science fiction comic books, most notably The Incal (1981– 1989), which has been described as having a claim to be "the best comic book" ever written, but also Technopriests and Metabarons. Accompanying this, he has also written books and regularly lectures on his own spiritual system, which he calls "psychomagic" and "psychoshamanism" and which borrows from his interests in alchemy, the tarot, Zen Buddhism and shamanism. Alejandro is the father of musician Adan Jodorowsky or Adanowsky.
Date of Birth: 17 February 1929 Birthplace: Tocopilla, Chile
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