Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lover's Lane

Fando Y Lis(1964)Directed By Alejandro Jodorowsky

"The panic man is not, he is ever becoming"-Alejandro JodorowskyFando Y Lis is the story of a man and his invalid girlfriend on a journey through a post Apocalyptic ruins and desert attempting to find a magical city called Tar, which will cure them of their ills.Lis loves Fando, and Fando resents having to literally pull her by cart everywhere they go. He abandons and punishes her at every turn, when he isn't encountering his own demons and monsters along the road. Tar does not exist, but since there is nowhere else to go, it will have to do.What follows is Jodorowsky's least literal film, where he made up allot of the script as they were shooting, and by made up the script, I mean told the actors nothing until they were in the desert and half naked. Then improved a half remembered play by Fernando Arrabal , a friend and colleague with whom co-founded the Panic Movement, .Anyone interested in Mexican surrealism in film after Luis Bunuel's days of exile from Spain, this is it, in all it's pretentious glory. The directors commentary is worthwhile to listen to if you get this on DVD, Jodorowsky takes the film apart scene by scene, and gives reasonable and precise answers and bizarre stories about the films creation and what it all actually means, shot for shot. "Easy Rider" stole some of its editing techniques from this I think, and "Night Of The Living Dead" lifted some of it's zombie imagery from here to (as would Marilyn Manson years later). Good acoustic music, and great images like a man playing a burning piano amidst ruins of a city, where the survivors still in formal wear go about their lives as if nothing has changed.In Werner Herzog's Nosferatu there's a similar dinner in a town square teeming with plague rats. The idea is that were all oblivious to the true nature of the world around us, and go on about repeating a set of gestures that appear as meaningless as those of a mime. Jorodowosky studied as a mime for years in France under the same teacher as Marcel Marcea after all. The image of the burning piano is an homage to Salvidor Dali, who was also a Friend of Jodorowsky's, but all the famous Friends in the world weren't enough to stop this film starting a riot at its debut at the Acapulco film festival, and it being subsequently banned in Mexico. Panic movement indeed.

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