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The Reeler Blog

El Topo Rides Again in NYC

Late word into Reeler HQ this afternoon noted that Alejandro Jodorowsky's seminal cult classic El Topo is set for a New York engagement starting Dec. 13 at IFC Center. The revival follows the filmmaker's triumphant New York Film Festival showcase last month, during which a shimmering hi-def restoration of El Topo joined its follow-up The Holy Mountain in a baffled rapture of endearment.

Accompanying its mythology as John Lennon's favorite film and as the progenitor of the midnight movie, El Topo wields some sizable baggage as a hostage of Abkco Films, which withheld the film from circulation for the better part of three decades before realizing it might be a beloved, viable commodity. Abkco make no apologies in its press release announcing the IFC Center opening, but it does let you know that the engagement precedes platformed US distribution and -- wait for it -- the release of a Jodorowsky DVD box set:

The collectors set will include newly remastered versions of El Topo, The Holy Mountain and Fando Y Lis. Extras include director’s commentary tracks, a special CD of the soundtrack from the films, previously unseen footage, and much, much more.

That's wonderful and surprising and everything, but be warned: Despite the Bible metaphors persisting throughout El Topo, my intimate knowledge of the Holy Spirit disinclines me to believe that the Baby Jesus would approve of this particular holiday DVD purchase in his name. I don't know how the Jews do things, but I'm guessing your rabbi would disapprove as well. This isn't even something you would magnanimously buy for your favorite cinephile out of goodwill, is it? (What? Is doesn't street until April '07? Oh, so now it's an Easter metaphor. Riiiight.)

I actually always thought a theatrical revival was the best thing for this movie anyway; you can watch it and walk away without the tape or DVD burning a hole through your furniture while you're away. At any rate, I guess having a choice is a pretty good problem to have after all these years. It's on your conscience now.

Posted at November 22, 2006 5:27 PM

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