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  • El Topo

    These vintage movie posters are for the film El Topo (English: "The Mole") is a 1970 Mexican Acid Western film written, scored, directed by and starring Alejandro Jodorowsky. Characterized by its bizarre characters and occurrences, use of maimed and dwarfperformers, and heavy doses of Christian symbolism and Eastern philosophy, the film is about the eponymous character – a violent, black-clad gunfighter – and his quest for enlightenment.

    The iconic poster images are for the film which was selected as the Mexican entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 44th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee. Phil Hardy, in his Encyclopedia of Western Movies (1985), wrote of El Topo: Rather in the manner of Federico Fellini, whose self-conscious conflation of the roles of charlatan and ringmaster of the unconscious Jodorowsky apes, the film is a breathtaking concoction of often striking, but more often ludicrous, images. The result is a movie that, though it impressed many at the time of its original release, in retrospect is clearly a minor, albeit often very funny work.

    Noteworthy figures said to be fans of the film include directors David Lynch, Nicolas Winding Refn and Samuel Fuller; video game writer and director Suda 51; actors Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper; comedians The Mighty Boosh and Patton Oswalt; and performers Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, Marilyn Manson, Jarvis Cocker, Peter Gabriel, George Harrison, Lucia Lee, and John Lennon. Gabriel has claimed that this movie was an inspiration for the classic Genesis concept album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, while collaborator Jared Eckman described the film as a failed experiment.

    John Barham re-recorded the score for release on Apple Records at the request of John Lennon. Suda 51 cited El Topo as a key inspiration for his game No More Heroes. Gore Verbinski cited it as an influence on Rango. There was no original intention to show El Topo in Mexico, where it was filmed and produced. Ben Barenholtz, an owner of the Elgin Theater in New York, saw a private screening of El Topo at the Museum of Modern Art. Barenholtz recalled that despite several audience members walking out, he was fascinated by El Topo. On a failing attempt to purchase the American rights to the film, Barenholtz convinced the producer to have the film shown at midnight at The Elgin, the type of screening where these now vintage movie posters would have been displayed. Barenholtz chose the late showings of 1 am on Friday and at midnight during the week to give audiences a sense of “self-discovery". The film premiered on December 18, 1970 and ran continuously seven days a week until the end of June 1971.