Horror and Art Join Hands in Sacred Surrealism: Santa Sangre

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  • Topic: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Films considered the greatest ever, El Topo
  • Pages : 2 (620 words )
  • Download(s) : 358
  • Published : May 21, 2011
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Religiously grotesque and lustful, yet surrealistically beautiful is the film Santa Sangre (1989) by cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky. The film portrays, in a brutal manner, the impact brought upon the deaths of a mother and father unto a child left orphan. Leading role Fenix (Axel Jodorowsky), after witnessing his fathers’ suicide (slit throat) and later knowing that his father had cut-off his mother’s arms before slicing himself, grows up heavily traumatized. He is first shown in the film, in adulthood, inside of a mental institution, naked, eating a whole fish, uncooked. With this film you will take a plunge in cold, very deep water: so many colors and shapes; so many mysteries; fantastic and terrifying monsters; in short, the human mind.

Alejandro Jodorowsky achieves another astonishing masterpiece by bringing his own personal background into the film. In his early years, he learned the arts of trapeze and miming; he even studied with the great Marcel Marceau. One of his first employers was a Circus in Chile, his hometown. There he took a job as a clown and started to absorb the mysterious ways and trickeries the public awes and cheers at circuses. Besides the colorful clowns and the saddening mimes, there is also another fundamental element that takes place in the film: religion. Fenix’s mother, Concha, is the religious and “moral” element in the film. She worships a Mexican church by the name of Santa Sangre (“Holy Blood”). She acquires a divine strength, or a dark power, that will forever haunt her orphan child, making the viewer think twice if the mother is in fact dead, alive, or a hallucination; or all three put together!. She lost her arms to her adulterous husband, but her son could still be of use, somehow; come to think of it, he still has a fresh pair of arms.

The acclaim and height of this film comes not from the awards and/or nominations it has earned, but from the public itself, from the cult followers of this great and terror stricken...
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