El Topo

I felt sleepy and certainly didn’t feel like going to work. I heard a lot on the news about the fire. I can understand what those people were going through. I did make my way to work, where we had some difficulty with the machines. I got a lot done and felt that I needed a nap after I got home. We got the slightest bit of rain during the day. The weather forecaster was right for a change about there being a chance of rain. I watched the movie “El Topo” on DVD. I guess if I saw “The Holy Mountain” a while ago, I had to follow it up with this movie. With the various changes in the Western, like “Cat Ballou,” “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” and “The Wild Bunch,” that were happening, this one had to be the most radical and controversial. You’ve got nudity, blood, and all kinds of disgusting imagery. It seems that the water in Alejandro Jodorowsky’s films is never clear, and blood always flows into it. I wonder about the dead animals in Jodorowsky’s films, and if they’re real. This time it was the rabbits. I hate the idea that animals could have died for one scene in a movie like this. The photography in this movie was superior to what I saw in “The Holy Mountain,” although only one shot struck me as beautiful. This was a very violent film, but the one moment that was disturbing to me was a castration, and it was not a Nagisa Oshima moment. After seeing “The Holy Mountain,” this film was better than I expected, but still not something I would ordinarily watch. I got tired of the religious references. There were bits of humor which were not really hilarious. It takes a while for El Topo to go after the four masters, and I wished Jodorowsky could have come to the point sooner. The problem with self-absorbed artists is that they take too long to get to the point. I was assuming that Jodorowsky starred in the movie because getting a real movie star would have been too expensive for the production. Who could possibly have played El Topo? I was thinking about Lee Van Cleef. The comedic bits where the characters are trying to pick up money from the crowd were not especially funny. I was thinking that audiences in the Old West were not very demanding. They seemed to have shiny coins to give away, though. I keep thinking that the clothes that people wear in Westerns usually isn’t convincing. Everything is usually too clean. Another thing is that movie blood always looks fake. After many years of developing fake blood, somebody should have come up with a convincing formula. The one advantage of black and white photography in movies like “Psycho” is that the fake blood doesn’t look fake. I guess realism was not the name of the game, however, with the freaks emerging from the tunnel to the town. I couldn’t help thinking of the Chilean miners whose eyes had to adjust to daylight. I didn’t think they could move so quickly because some of them were literally dragging their feet. Well, the final moments would bring to many viewers’ minds an image of the Vietnam War. I would have liked hearing what John Lennon and Dennis Hopper had to say about “El Topo.” If they were in the same room with me, I think I would have argued that they were too easily impressed with Jodorowsky. It’s not easy to make your messages entertaining. The claim is that “El Topo” began the midnight movie phenomenon. The first I ever heard of a midnight movie was “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” These days midnight movies are first showings of blockbusters on Thursday nights. Would I have gone to see “El Topo” at midnight in 1970? No, because I wouldn’t be eager to see some weird movie at such an hour. I wouldn’t get out of the theatre until past two o’clock. It would not be worth the effort, and the conversation I would have afterwards would be annoying and stupid. I watched on the news a report about lottery winners who were not getting paid. I watched the 49ers game with the Vikings. I wanted a look at the stadium because the Super Bowl would be there. The 49ers’ black jerseys sure looked ugly. One shot of the crowd showed the Banjo Man. The 49ers had a field goal try blocked, and they also fumbled away a punt. The cheerleaders’ black outfits looked terrible, too. I wondered if El Niño would affect the weather on Super Bowl Sunday. I miss the old days of Monday Night Football. Billy Wilder used to like watching on Monday nights. The death of Frank Gifford reminded me how long ago those days were. The one game that I remember most clearly from those years was the Bears and the Dolphins in 1985. During one break, they showed the cable cars in San Francisco, where are miles away from Santa Clara. It seems like NFL teams should be required to have the name of the city where they actually play to be part of their names. How long will it take me to get to Santa Clara if I take BART to Fremont and a bus to Santa Clara? I took a look at the Match Game episode at nine o’clock. David Doyle, Eva Gabor, and Betty White were on the panel. It was a repeat of what was on three hours earlier, but different from the morning episode at seven o’clock. I think Betty White was the only person who is still alive. These shows are from 37 years ago, so the elderly contestants have long been dead. I didn’t want to stay up to watch Emily Blunt on Stephen Colbert or Sofia Vergara on Jimmy Kimmel. I wonder what the ratings for Colbert’s first week were like. The recent death of Judy Carne made me think about which former Laugh-In cast members are still alive. The names I came up with were Ruth Buzzi, Goldie Hawn, Arte Johnson, Lily Tomlin, Willie Tyler, and Jo Anne Worley. I’m rather surprised that Arte Johnson is still alive. Maybe I was confusing him with Henry Gibson, though. Are there any good comedies on television now? “Kramer vs. Kramer” and “Agnes of God” were on one of the movie channels. Some of the people who died on September 15 include Thomas Wolfe (1938), Bill Evans (1980), Vincent Canby (2000), Johnny Ramone (2004), and Brett Somers (2007). Today is a birthday for Tommy Lee Jones (69), Oliver Stone (69), and Gaylord Perry (77). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for September 15, “The Lone Ranger” made its television debut on ABC in 1949. In 1984, “Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies” made its Saturday morning television debut. In 1986, “L.A. Law” had its premiere. In 1989, “Sea of Love” with Al Pacino was released.

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