Tonight, the class I t.a. is turning in their papers. I’ve never graded papers before, so I have no idea how long it’s going to take or how frustrating it’s going to be, but my supervisor keeps reminding me, “Now, remember… just try to stay calm.”
In class last week (which is on Latin American and Caribbean Cinema), we watched a Chilean film from the early 1970s called, “El Topo.” It is an allegorical, surrealist western heavy with magical realism, symbolism, and more blood than all of Tarantino’s movies combined. One of the densest pieces of cinematic work I’ve ever seen, I hope to god no one tried to write a paper on it in a week. If you can sit through it, it’s goddamn amazing. Oddly, some of the bloodiest scenes are the most beautiful – there’s so much of it. The director, Alejandro Jodorowsky, uses it like a painter would.
Also, if you can sit through it, here are some of the things you’ll see: A sheep jesus, gender-bending religious icons, fifty or so dead bunnies, a street-corner death match, a few pairs of tits, one tiny penis, Russian roulette in a small-town church, a bird lady, a self-immolating busker, and the most enthusiastic actor/director/writer (Jodorosky’s a cult renaissance man) I’ve ever seen. He looks like his head is going to explode the entire time.
I have a sore throat and a cough. I try to make myself feel better about it by imagining that there’s a nest of baby hedgehogs living in my trachea.