Fando y Lis (Fando and Lis) Reviews
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.