While it's not exactly breaking news (this has been online much longer than I realized), I thought I'd round off my Friday night by sharing with you the full panel I moderated at this year's SXSW Film Festival.
I love that they made this available. One of the worst parts of moderating a panel that seems to go well is the ephemeral nature of these things. You do it for the people in the room, and then it's gone. It is particularly sad when you get a chance to talk to someone who is an outright legend, and I can think of no other word that more perfectly applies to Alejandro Jodorowsky.
If you do watch the panel, take special note of how fast I'm talking when I'm introducing him. I've done enough public speaking over the past few years that I'm comfortable no matter the size of the crowd. The difference here was that I didn't meet Jodorowsky until about ten minutes before we went onstage, and it is hard to overstate just how much respect I have for this man's body of work. And not just the films, either… he's a prolific artist who also works hard to reach people on a spiritual level, and I find him both intensely charismatic and also very moving in the way he views art and the world. As a result, when I walked out there with my prepared introduction, I started talking as fast as I think I've ever spoken in my entire life just so people wouldn't notice I was shaking from nerves. It's pure adrenaline overload you see there, and I'd be mortified if I hadn't ended up having such a great time with him for the next hour.
For many people, “Jodorowsky's Dune” is their introduction to him and to the influence he's had on the business, even with an unfilmed movie. I am deeply honored to have been featured in that documentary at all, and getting asked to participate in this conversation with him in front of the SXSW crowd was the icing on that particular cake. I have had so many remarkable opportunities over the last 15 years or so and met so many artists who I revere, and yet it's still something that can flatten me. If you're not familiar with “Santa Sangre” or “The Holy Mountain” or “El Topo,” you should be. They are incredible personal statements, movies that exist beyond any simple commercial consideration. His newest movie, “The Dance Of Reality,” is perhaps the most grounded thing he's ever made, but it's also intensely personal, and it feels like something he had to make to work out his feelings about his childhood. We cover all of that and more, and I hope you dig it as much as I loved being part of it.
We cover a lot of ground in this conversation, and I want to thank Cinephilia and Beyond for pointing out to me that this was actually on YouTube. I'm so pleased this happened, and that you guys get to see it now.
“The Dance Of Reality” is currently playing in limited release, and “Jodorowsky's Dune” will be on DVD and Blu-ray July 8, 2014.