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At the age of ninety one, bohemian Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky has fabricated his aboriginal every time documentary, Psychomagic, a Healing Art. In abounding methods, it’s a accompaniment allotment to his contempo self-reflexive and semi-autobiographical films The Dance of Absoluteness and Endless Poetry, in which Jodorowsky amid his abreast cocky into the anecdotal of his own early life and young people. Area the ahead films look Jodorowsky accession at clandestine rituals and allegorical acts to accord with his very own issues, Psychomagic expands his apple of get entry to to deal with males and females who acquisition themselves in a cul-de-sac of existential distress.

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Essentially a daisy alternation of case histories, the blur permits Jodorowsky to authenticate the anarchistic psychotherapeutic strategies he’s evolved over a life-time spent perception diverse cerebral systems and an extraordinary array of Eastern and Western airy practices. As you capability understand from the man abaft El Topo and The Holy Mountain, it can be a agrarian ride, abounding of sometimes surely bonkers, alike aberrant imagery, yet additionally betraying Jodorowsky’s ablaze benevolence for the vicissitudes of animal struggling.

Ahead of the VOD absolution of Psychomagic, I had the befalling to allege with Jodorowsky through Skype. We affected aloft a great array of capacity such as animate with the tarot, Antonin Artaud’s Amphitheater of Cruelty, the “final days” of the surrealist movement, and the films of Dario Argento and Luis Buñuel.

Early on your new documentary you acknowledgment your undertaking with the tarot deck. How did that accord on your improvement of psychomagic?

For me, the tarot isn’t abracadabra that let’s you spot the future. It’s on my own a accent to on hand the subconscious. That is all. It’s to task with the desires like Sigmund Freud fashioned with desires. My films advice me to allege about desires, and put you at the desk [in a tarot spread]. I use tarot to do that. But, in adjustment to do that, I naked 50 years of animate with the tarot, acquirements how to acquire the tarot deck. I memorized every line, each coloration, every that means. [Jodorowsky gain to accord a quick three-card tarot reading.]

Psychomagic strategies expect to absorb a dreamlike, anapestic common sense. How do you get right of entry to at the unique ability of the treatments?

When you’re animate with me, aboriginal I accomplish your affiliated tree. You be given the son, you accept the companion, the ancestor and mother, the grandfather. Again I apperceive region you’re, what formed you. And then, again I apperceive that, I will now not acquaintance you in a psychoanalytic manner, an bookish way. That is for psychoanalysts, who booty dreams and suggest you what is complete life. I am different. I booty what you anticipate with the absoluteness and I put it into the angel of the dream. I use the accent of acting, not talking, undertaking stuff you never did before. New matters. I am breaking your cerebral aegis with an angel to head do something. I will say, “Paint your bristles gold and kiss a girl, or a person, who has argent hair.” I will say that’s an photograph. That will reachable to you the unconscious, article you’ll discover. That is the mission of psychomagic.

With nice of the individuals in the movie, all we see is their concise acknowledgment to the remedy. What fabricated you chase up with the female who had throat blight afterwards approximately 10 years?

What I did inside the amphitheater become an enjoy. Because I had a theater. I had to pay to simply accept that theater. Because each healing I do is loose. I’m no longer a psychoanalyst, so cipher paid me. It’s loose. Because I had a big theater, and in Chile I am actual able-bodied recognized, I will receive a appointment inside the theater. Five thousand our bodies came. And once more I absitively to perform an revel in. I didn’t apperceive if mixture wondering, like leap forward method says, ought to exchange reality, if we accept a accumulation of bodies who do the aforementioned issue. Can we alleviate this girl? She thinks she can die real fast. And once more I booty the girl and I accomplish the experience. And once more I didn’t allege together with her. And then, back I fabricated the account 10 years later, I capital to know, because I in no way again it. In adjustment to advise recovery, you rate five,000 medical doctors! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime revel in. I capital to recognise, with wondering, do we or don’t we receive the strength? The cancer, they are saying we can’t alleviate that. I don’t apperceive in the event that they fought the blight for years because it’s a big, big business, and they don’t urge for food to acquisition the answer. That I don’t realize. Back restoration will become a business, it cannot alleviate for me. Healing is an act of affection. You accept to booty the being for your palms. The psychoanalyst doesn’t booty you in his arms!

And again I get a blast alarm from a acquaintance of the female, a apprentice of mine. I asked him if she had died. He said no, she’s alive. I requested if I should accomplish an account for the film. She tells how the acquaintance become. She said it became real suitable. I don’t apperceive if it become a placebo. Placebos may be ideal additionally.

Yes, if it works, it’s exact.

But it changed into by myself an acquaintance that I did once. I can’t acquisition 5,000 our bodies for every being who has an illness.

Psychomagic consists of abbreviate clips from abounding of your beforehand movies. Do you see this movie, and the ameliorative project it illustrates, as an encapsulation of your entire career?

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From the amphitheater I got here to the “occurring,” improvised theater, the amphitheater of action, once more to psychomagic. I got here to it. I didn’t actualize it. But, in all my photographs, I changed into analytic for some thing. I account actual abundant the automatic films. Movies from the alpha have been an enterprise. Their ambition from the alpha changed into to perform massive cash. And again they apparent Hollywood and all that. But there was now not one complete fact, one whole feeling, it changed into acting emotions. The look rate move on! But for me movies aren’t a display, they’re an artwork.

What is artwork? It’s handy for the being who does the work, new horizons, they’ll accessible the animal soul. That’s what I did in my pictures. I started out to put complete things into the image. Absoluteness says, “Problem! I am accepting problems with my mother, problems with my father.” I changed into cogent all of it. Footfall through step, I turned into advancing to acquaint my complete interest into the pics. I became accepting problems with my ancestor in Endless Poetry, and I turned into shooting, and aback I jumped into the image! Psychomagic is alone whole emotions, not an imitation. And that’s what I become analytic for. I put examples in my images, adage I am talking constantly of the aforementioned issue, however in a cultured manner. I appearance a guy bankrupt in a belfry [in El Topo] and in Psychomagic I look a man breaking pumpkins. I did that in El Topo, but in a emblematic way, not without delay. And once more I look in my blur that it was the aforementioned role, but similarly language: aesthetic language, ameliorative language.

Can you acquaint me article approximately your encounters with André Breton and introduced surrealists within the Paris of the Sixties?

I will allege approximately that during my 0.33 film. It’s a trilogy: The Dance of Reality, Endless Poetry, and Essential Journey. That’s cardinal 3. I desire, if I am alive, because I am an vintage individual, to alpha it in January. The calligraphy I’ve carried out already. I am real blessed with it. I allege about that point, till I started out to be a cine director. I prevent there. In it, I am interest to France to assignment with the surrealists, with the amphitheater of Marcel Marceau, with the truth seeker Gaston Bachelard. I take delivery of those 3 worlds.

My apperception become opened with philosophy. With surrealism, I assume I am the aftermost aberrant moviemaker who’s actually surrealistic. But I am a bit footfall farther, due to the fact surrealism doesn’t display, doesn’t give an explanation for. It’s the abstruseness of article you don’t apprehend. That is surrealism. A dream angel you don’t understand, you be given no price to explain that. In the art I do, you apperceive what you’re doing. It has a finality. It has to interrupt your botheration and appear to felicity. Beatitude of life. That’s what I feel with the asinine adulation tale. Adulation is not like adulation with a celebrity. Adulation is love. We rate to appearance what adulation is. Acquaint the things which can be true, accomplish you visit happiness. Not an asinine happiness, not Disneyland, a complete centralized lifestyles. Blessed to be alive. I am alive. It’s extremely good. What an absurd component. Art has to accord you with achievability to be what you are, now not what the moviemaker is. Not what the novice is, you. It’s complicated, no?

Speaking of aberrant filmmakers, what do you assume approximately the films of Luis Buñuel?

He was a surrealist, yes, but he’s too astute for me. He changed into a complete man or woman, within the actual. And for me the pics accept no longer by myself a meaning, they’re a painting. You can shoot article like that [mimes altered angles], visiting pictures, etcetera. Aggregate speaks. Buñuel’s look by myself one point of view. He’s sitting and combination is in the admeasurement of addition sitting. But he doesn’t go out [he mimes abrogation the Skype frame], he doesn’t accomplish delivered things. Hollywood obvious digicam motion. Camera motion is amazing! I charge to just accept Buñuel in Hollywood and that could be right. He should appearance a abysmal acceptation however with extra abandon of form.

When you formed with Claudio Argento on Santa Sangre did you apperceive annihilation about the movies of his brother Dario?

Yes, I like them loads. He changed into a man who doesn’t accord too abundant accessory to the script. He can be no longer logical. The enjoyment to shoot article that’s weird! And I well-known that. No message, no meaning. Actual aesthetical.

Do you receive a favorite blur of his?

I am actual antique. I don’t bethink the names. I’ve obvious it a number of times, this picture. He is going right into a constructing, he is going primary the residence.

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A arena from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Santa Sangre. © Republic Pictures

Deep Red. Profondo Rosso.

Yes! Profondo Rosso. Absurd image. A blur like that, for his time, he fabricated atomic cinema. Because it turned into the blur of a director. Generally, in the automatic film, the administrator is an worker. The studios are evaluation the script. You aren’t chargeless with the script. You rate to shoot what’s appropriate there. Because, lower back you’re loose, you accomplish the calligraphy to alpha the photo. But inside the average of the account you could alternate something you appetite and positioned new things in. Because there are abracadabra matters that appear again you’re taking pictures. In Santa Sangre, back the ancestor commits suicide, the bare father, it become in Mexico, in the street. A actual vintage woman changed into singing, under the influence of alcohol. There were numerous restricted there. I said, “Go acquisition me this bashed girl, as it’s the song I fee for that suicide.” And once more he’ll annihilate himself, however inside the angel there’s a whole song of a being who’s definitely suffering. And it’s first rate, like that. You price to be loose. Back you accomplish the photo, the administrator is the poet. In Hollywood, the artisan is the money. Added money, introduced happiness. I say, “No.” Added poetical, brought artistical—that is right. Like the tarot, that isn’t a commercial enterprise. I apperceive I’m loopy, however you charge a few loopy being inside the generality, once more somebody will use it in addition manner.

We honestly rate added our bodies in the apple who are loopy in that way.

Yes, due to the fact crazy bodies aren’t crazy. They’re aloof software their apperception further manner. And it’s actual interesting.

How cautiously did you coact with David Lynch in your King Shot project?

He become real affable with me. He stated, “Maybe we will accomplish a image.” But my interest was so loopy. Maybe I capital to shoot in Spain. I capital to do what I always do. But he had a touch aggregation at that moment. He turned into no longer able to receive the cash to do that. So, lower back I didn’t accept the cash, I didn’t do it. It turned into too expensive.

What are you able to acquaint me about it slow with Arrabal and Roland Topor inside the Agitation Movement?

That turned into certainly a absurd moment in my existence. Because we have been accustomed aural the surrealist organization. That turned into the stop of surrealism. A lot of surrealists had been into politics. They have been Trotskyists. Into the Romantic capability of the woman, not the entire lady. Arrabal, Topor, and I have been analytic for entire freedom. The artisan desires to be vital the play, for instance, critical what you’re reducing or gambling. You charge to be inside, on your frame. You are there. Not out of the work. You charge to go further than the intellect, similarly than the unconscious. Further than the religions. You rate to acquisition the panic. Agitation isn’t worry, agitation is the totality. You rate to acquisition what a man is in totality. And then, if you are an artisan in totality, you fee to be a painter, dancer, mime, cinematographic creator, marionette. All the matters I did. Because it’s the totality. Analytic the buildup of expression, that’s what we did. It wasn’t a movement, it became by myself three persons. And we alleged it a movement. We capital to appearance that capacity was faux, was an phantasm. Because three our bodies will move into history as a motion that doesn’t exist!

Your performances whole loads like what changed into alleged “happenings” in delivered international locations or what the Vienna Aktionists were accomplishing with their films. Would you assert that’s correct?

No, the affairs have been hobby on inside the atmosphere of painting and sculpture. It changed into a manner to enhance the artificial arts. I fabricated ephemera. Ephemera isn’t that. Ephemera is a affectionate of theater, psychoanalysis, goals, surrealism. The accent of artwork, with which means. Happening is an statement of freedom, but on my own freedom.

So the performances had been afterpiece to what Antonin Artaud become speakme about together with his Amphitheater of Cruelty?

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I become a massive adherent of The Amphitheater and Its Double. I began from there. He opened my eyes. In Fando y Lis, you accept a bit get right of entry to of Artaud. I had a amphitheater ball of Arrabal, with Fando y Lis, however I didn’t use the play, I acclimated the anamnesis I had as administrator of the play. With a variety of abandon advancing from Artaud. And again in El Topo, I had a Japanese Zen Master, Ejo Takata. Zen meditation, now not like a hippie, whole Zen meditation. Seven-day apperception after sleep. I changed into dozing each night time for 30 minutes, that’s all. Terrible, amazing! I introduced this acquaintance to El Topo. Because Artaud fabricated the Amphitheater of Cruelty. Back you notice the cruelty, you’re open. But once more I didn’t appetite any delivered cruelty. I absitively I capital to perform the appointment with our self, accomplish the basilica [forms a steeple with his hands]. You are a cathedral. You aren’t a butcher. You’re growing the sacred. Some religions are fanatical. But I understand the article of the Buddha, and I anticipate there’s article delivered true than Artaud.

Is it proper that René Daumal’s peculiar Mount Analogue became an access on The Holy Mountain?

Yes. I adulation René Daumal, because I adulation his teacher. He had a considerable trainer, who turned into Gurdjieff. And in that novel, Daumal is speaking about his acquaintance with Gurdjieff. Added than surrealism, Daumal took it a footfall farther: The Abundant Game [a “counter-surrealist” account founded by Daumal and friends]. He commenced to asphyxiate himself to look the way it became to about die. He become analytic for stronger matters, entire abstract looking. I capital to do his amateurish novel, Mount Analogue. He by no means performed it because he died real adolescent from tuberculosis. But the ancestors didn’t appetite to accord me the rights. I said, “Well, I will accomplish my very own Holy Mountain!” What I directed depicts Daumal’s book. It’s a accumulation that goes with a abecedary to acquisition aeon on a mountain. That I took. Again I developed my thoughts.

A arena from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain. © ABKCO Films

So, on the end of the movie, back we see the authoritative of the movie, back you approximately-face one camera on another, changed into that a manner of aperture it up to the estimation of the viewer?

I never anticipation of it the manner you’re adage now. Maybe, yes. I went to a entire abundance in Mexico. I brought a tiger, a monk, actors, all that. And the Mexicans informed me it was risky. Why? “Because there are tempests, and returned there are tempests, you could die. Be careful.” No, I will pass, as it’s stunning, the acclimate is so outstanding. I shoot what I shoot, and back I completed shooting, the snow fall came. And again we started to run in concert, to get off the mountain, as it became dangerous! I was active and I slipped and [mimes rolling bottomward the mountain]. But I had a bang and [mimes jamming it into the ground]. “No! I don’t urge for food to die, I fee to accomplishment this abuse image!” I am authoritative a photo. Like this, I will end. This is the quit of the photo, because it turned into the whole stop. It wasn’t as good, however I installed absoluteness into my film. I capital to perform whole matters, and that, for me, turned into a complete element!

We’re authoritative a photo. It’s not a comedy. There are complete sentiments, because all those our bodies I begin have been now not actors. Every being I confirmed had the botheration I appearance inside the image. Complete bodies I used, whole tiger! I’m now not a Hollywood aggregation authoritative affected the whole thing. I requested Hollywood that I appetite a rate of tarantulas, large spiders on a body. They fabricated affected ones. So we went out and acquired spiders and had their fangs cut out. We fabricated up the anatomy and once more we acclimated the spiders. Complete spiders got here available. And the being who did that, moreover myself, never widespread spiders! There he turned into, adversity article astronomic with the ones spiders!

Are you presently animate on any new clean novels?

Graphic novels. That is my computerized commercial enterprise. Because I receive The Incal, Metabarons, Sons of El Topo. That I am engaging in all the time. That is accustomed for me, because I accept a massive imagination. If I didn’t take delivery of imagination, I would die. I am demography a footfall in addition than Psychomagic with Psychotrance. It’s a affectionate of literature, however on the aforementioned time you’re reading, I’m providing you with physical activities. It’s bond a cope with with contest to have an effect on what you do, the appulse of accepting a trance. With drugs, you take delivery of a trance. I say no pills. We can do it after drugs. How to do it like this. Not by myself meditation. Go further than meditation. Go anon to what you’re returned you’re no longer intellect. What is in you? You don’t rate to booty LSD. You don’t charge to booty ayahuasca. Because the ones are goals. I am adage do the aforementioned affair I do in movies. In movies, in a aeon of affected emotions, I am authoritative whole feelings. In a potential abounding of medication, cerebral pills, I am putting in a whole hallucination, allegorical how you can do it.

Translation by Pascale Montandon.

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