Song Of The Day 1/29/2015: Alejandro Jodorowsky - "Vals Fantasma"

Apple Scruffs: Of course I’m not above sneaking something in this week on a technicality. This is one of those times. The only reason I could find for this soundtrack album being released on Apple is that John Lennon was a fan of the film. It’s almost incidental. This could have just as easily been released on RCA Red Seal or whatever label the Partridge Family was signed to.

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo is commonly considered the world’s first midnight movie. Whoops, almost forgot about you millennials – by way of explanation: Once upon a time it was a special occasion for people to watch movies at midnight. It was so special that they only did it twice a week, on Fridays and Saturdays. We went to these huge rooms with lots of seats and perpetually sticky floors even if they’d just been mopped.

The films we used to watch during these rare occurrences were typically flicks that were deemed just a smidgen outside the mainstream for any number of reasons. Usually it was transvestism. Sometimes they featured black-and-white outer space adventures made with paper towel rolls for telescopes. Still other times the movies contained bizarre scenes of extreme violence, presented in such odd or assymetrical ways that the horrific value of the violence gave way to artistic shock, and as a net result nobody was terribly put off by the violence. Frequently the films either contained drug use or appealed to that segment of the population who enjoyed recreational drug use. The rest of the time the films were Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same movie.

El Topo was, like I said, the first movie to really inspire the subculture of midnight movies. Right place, right time. If the Monkees’ Head hadn’t been rated G, it probably would have been the one. Midnight movies don’t exist anymore, mainly because bored housewives are going to be flocking to matinees of 50 Shades of Grey in a couple of weeks.

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