Jodorowsky writes about his vision of filmmaking. He understands filming as a journey of selfknowledge and communication through the poetic image. He understands cinema as an alive and autonomous organism, like an act of total and independent creation. He helps us to understand pure cinematographic elements as lighting, space and time; but also others like the dance, the senses, the music or the spirit. A step forward in the way of cinema to find its own language.
LESSONS ON FILMING FROM ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY
Sit from dawn to nightfall in front of a tree, feeling the light. Come back during seven days in a row and do the same.
Come back at night with a torch and light the tree from infinite different points.
Place yourself at one mile from the tree. Stare at it and advance inch by inch until you finally bump your nose into the bark.
Place yourself in an indoor or landscape and move thinking your own chest is shooting, then your face, then your sex, then your hands.
Go to a certain place and feel you are its center. Then feel that you are allways on the surface of the place. Finally, broke the idea of center and surface. You are there, everything is inside you and outside you at the same time. You are part of the place. The place does exist. You have dissapeared!
Search for the color where there is no color. Take a white paper and see its colors. Take a black paper and see its colors. See the colors in a transparent glass. Discover the rainbow in a piece of ground, in a spittle, in a dry leaf. Express color with non color materials. I really ask you, do you know how many colors your face skin has?
Feel your fingertips as if they were your tongue tip. Put your fingertips on the objects of the world thinking they are fragile and that a little pressure can break them. Ask permission before you touch them. Before you put your fingers into their surface, feel how you penetrate into their atmosphere. Learn to feel and to caress with respect. Any action you make in the world with your hands or your body can be a caress.
Think that the actors live inside a body like in the center of a cavern. Ask them not to shout with their mouth but inside their mouth. Not to express with their face, but to feel under their face. When I exasperate, from inside, I give punches inside mi chest that stands still in front of the camera. I don’t express myself with movement but with vibrations. I life under the surface. The surface of the river doesn’t move, but you know that carries deep currents.
I don’t care about the movements of the camera. She must move only when she can’t stay still. You carry the food in your hand. The camera is like a dog. Make her follow the food with hunger. The hunger makes the animal to dissapear. There is no dog, no hunger, no camera. There are events. You can never eat the hole apple at one time. You have to bite it. While you are eating you have only one part. You should know that the piece that you are chewing is not the hole apple. You can never have the hole apple in your mouth, because, no matter how large your mouth is, you can never have in it the fruit that belongs to the tree nor the tree that belongs to the land. The screen is your mouth. There come in pieces. Parts of the accident. Don’t try to work with absolut takes. Don’t think that the perfect take exists. You can bite the apple anywhere. If the apple is sweet, it doesn’t matter where you start to eat it. Concern about the apple, not your mouth. Filmmaker! Anthology of pieces, you a piece too; your unfinished movie, you are a part of it, a continuation. There are no closes. Kill the word end. You will start a film the day you realize that you simply continue. Do not search for prestige. Reject effects. Do not decorate. Do not think about what the image will generate. Do not search for it. Recieve images. The hunting is forbbided. Fishing is allowed.
Never work over the paper your camera movements. Arrive to the places believing that you are not going to move the camera, that you are not going to light, that you are not going to create. Arrive empty, with no intention at all. Roll your camera motor and live. Do not create scenes, create accidents. Do not create those accidents in direction to the camera. You are not making a movie, you are into an accident. Part of that accident are your camera movements.
And, suddenly, the great pleasure. A take thought with the camera expressing with unnatural light, with “performances” ( a real dessert!).
I tell you truly, through this way you can make Hollywood 40′s films. If you want to be a real avant-garde filmmaker, shoot again “Gone with the wind”, exactly the same way, with actors with the twin bodies of Clack Gable and Vivien Leigh. If you achieve that your film cannot be distinguish from the original one, you will go down in history.
We can find an example of his particular way of filming in the shootting of “Fando y Lis”, where he got up at four in the morning to meditate the scenes to shoot each day. During the shooting, he was also tied together with de cinematograpehr in order to guide the movements of the camera.