March 15th, 2021

Wonderful Things

I've discovered that for mere pennies I can watch movies from the BFI's huge collection on my TV- and I've been scrolling through what's on offer going "Ooh" and "Aah" at intervals.

Yesterday I watched El Topo- an absurdist Mexican western so groovy that John and Yoko gave its director $1,000,000 to go away and make something even groovier. I've been wanting to see it since forever but the rights belonged to Alan Klein (an unfortunate by-product of accepting John and Yoko's patronage) and he had it locked away in a cupboard for 30 years. It's now out and proud and remastered and restored- and it emerges as a Monty Python film without the jokes, featuring a bunch of people in fancy dress- who can't act- pratting about in the desert. The desert is very beautiful- and the sun is shining. There are amputees and dwarves and religious symbology and dead animals and buckets of fake blood and a rape sequence which is a good deal more alienating than the director intended. It goes on and on and on...

I'll probably watch the even groovier sequel too- beacuse I'm a sucker for grooviness- but there are other things I'll probably watch first- like Abel Gance's silent Napoleon and a Czech film called the Saragossa Manuscript which is adored by people like Bunuel and Lynch and Bowie. Many of these films are very rare (or used to be- before digitalization) and I feel like I've just broken into Tutankhamen's tomb.