Fando y Lis (Fando and Lis)

Critics Consensus

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70%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 10

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,744
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Movie Info

Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky (EL TOPO, SANTA SANGRE), this strange classic was "lost" for 30 years. It tells the tale of two youths (Fando and his partially paralyzed lover Lis) who search through a destroyed world for the mythical city of Tar, where it is believed that all of one's wishes can come true. Instead, along the way, they are corrupted and driven mad. The film caused a riot upon its premiere at the 1968 Acapulco Film Festival.

Based on Jodorowsky's memories of a play by surrealist Fernando Arrabal, one of Jodorowsky's performance-art collaborators.

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Critic Reviews for Fando y Lis (Fando and Lis)

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (3)

  • It's a movie that should really be watched in a basement through a cloud of weed smoke, in the company of hippies who, in the immortal words of Alexei Sayle, are in the habit of weaving their own hemp-substitute bags out of dried snot.

    February 6, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • An adorable, preposterous mutant film from the heyday of international do-your-own-thing moviemania.

    August 29, 2006
  • For all its invocations of theater of cruelty, Fando and Lis hardly ever scares up anything stronger than unpleasant whimsey.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
    New York Times
    Top Critic
  • Undisciplined but not without effective passages, Fando & Lis isn't for all audiences, a work of provocation as much as a work of art.

    October 30, 2001

    Keith Phipps

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Very much a late '60s freakout, tricked out with car cemeteries and action painting in the nude, the movie is fake-profound but seldom dull.

    February 26, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Jodorowsky's lyrical fantasy leaves Fellini and Buuel spluttering in its dust.

    February 26, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Fando y Lis (Fando and Lis)

  • Oct 08, 2015
    It is always interesting to see how Jodorowsky wanted to push the cinematic envelope with this provocative surrealist film of striking visuals - which, even if notably amateurish and flawed, already showed that he was an artist full of ideas and promising talent.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2014
    Surrealistic, raw and engrossing, Alejandro Jodorowsky's Fando y Lis is a film that has striking images of brutal violence, images that will stick with you long after you've seen. As a film, this is quite an interesting picture for what it is, and it's a film that is more for a specific type of audience as the film will surely polarize more mainstream viewers. Jodorowsky is one of those filmmakers where he crafts a film that reaches for the most bizarre aspects of cinema. He pushes the boundaries of what art is supposed to be, and this film is for the most shock art. Jodorowsky manages to craft a film that shocks and makes you question what you're watching. As a matter of fact, due to its content, it caused riots in Mexico upon release and the film was banned. I guess by today's standards the film is pretty tame, but back then, this was something else. I liked the fact that the film tried to do something quite different with how it presents us with an idea, and with that being said, it's a surreal picture that pulls you in a nightmare, one that you can't look away. Alejandro Jodorowsky picture is a captivating fantasy that is entertaining for viewer that enjoy obscured, midnight movie cult cinema. The film is not something that I would recommend for viewers who are new to his work, as it's quite bizarre, shocking and at time astounding with what happens in the film. For viewers of cult picture, you'll surely find exactly what you're looking for with Fando Y Lis, and it's a well crafted picture, even if it's not that coherent in its meaning. You'll still be trying to find what the film was about after you've seen, kind of like David Lynch's Eraserhead, which I think that like Lynch, Alejandro Jodorowsky left it up to the viewer to find meaning within the film.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Sep 14, 2010
    A very interesting exploration of an abusive and co-dependant relationship; the imagery is raw, hipnotic and beautiful in perfect black and white.
    Quinto W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 06, 2009
    When a film is based on surreal, head-flick imagery but has limited budget and the washed-out quality of a '40s stag reel, it's probably in trouble. This brings us to the overambitious "Fando y Lis," the first feature of Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky. Similar in concept to his better known "El Topo" and "The Holy Mountain," "Fando y Lis" depicts another arduous quest for spiritual enlightenment -- in this case, represented by a mystical city of bliss called "Tar." Fando and Lis are a young couple. Fando has shaggy sideburns and mercurial, childlike temperament. Lis is a petite, crippled, emotionally needy blonde. Fando pushes her around on a bulky cart, along with an old-fashioned gramophone, her doll and his beloved drum. He recurrently loses patience with Lis and turns cruel, but soon regrets his abuse. The two hope to find Tar, but never get beyond what appears to be the bottom of an abandoned rock quarry. Along the way, they encounter a bounty of strange people and sights that include drag queens, a dominatrix with a whip, a jazz cat with a flaming piano, a naked clan who lives in a mudhole, card-playing crones who bet with peaches, an old man lording over a pile of cow skulls, women who use bowling balls as weapons, gluttons feasting with funnels on their heads and Fando's grotesque mother. Oh, and here's an image Freud would love: a man viciously stabbing a hole in a doll's crotch and then draping tiny snakes over the gash. Meanwhile, Fando and Lis strike poses in a graveyard, dabble in cross-dressing and splash their names across each other's bodies in dark paint. Fando lights a large spider on fire, and stumbles around an auto junkyard with seductive trollops. Lis gets molested, gives birth to piglets and lets a blind man drink her blood. Where Luis Bunuel left off, this film begins. If "Fando y Lis" is anything like "El Topo" and "The Holy Mountain," Jodorowsky carefully chose all these images to illustrate various metaphysical obstacles that the couple must hurdle. But his symbolism is so personal that one needs Cliff's Notes (or at least a DVD commentary track) to understand. And unfortunately, the film can be quite grating even without visuals. Sound effects are often jacked up to an abrasive volume, and even everyday activities like eating and walking are unrealistically noisy (the opening scene with Lis chewing a crunchy flower might be enough to send some viewers running from the room). The background for one scene resembles a din of rusty door hinges, and another segment even has what World Cup fans may identify as a chorus of angry vuvuzelas. Epileptics should avoid this film at all costs. Movie buffs? Proceed with caution.
    Eric B Super Reviewer

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