• film

Santa Sangre

Dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky, Italy/Mexico, 1989, DCP, 123 min., English/Spanish w/English subtitles

Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell and the filmmaker’s sons Axel and Adan Jodorowsky star in this surreal epic about a young circus performer, the crime of passion that shatters his soul, and the macabre journey back to the world of his armless mother and deaf-mute lover. Endorsed by John Lennon and embraced by underground culture worldwide, Jodorowsky redefined movies as both art and entertainment while singlehandedly creating the ‘midnight movie’ genre in the 1970s with sensations El Topo and Holy Mountain. Legal frustrations with the films’ owner (and Beatles’ manager) Allen Klein—as well as a failed attempt to direct a 14-hour movie adaptation of Dune starring Orson Welles and Salvador Dali—kept Jodorowsky from making films for 16 years until his triumphant return with Santa Sangre in 1989. “This is a movie like none I have seen before,” wrote Roger Ebert in his original four-star review, “a wild kaleidoscope of images and outrages, a collision between Freud and Fellini. It contains blood and glory, saints and circuses, and unspeakable secrets of the night. And it is all wrapped up in a flamboyant parade of bold, odd, striking imagery, with Alejandro Jodorowsky as the ringmaster. Santa Sangre is a movie in which the inner chambers of the soul are laid bare.”