- X 2019
Fando y Lis
Fando and Lis
Fando and Lis: Tar Babies
Juan López Moctezuma, Robreto Viskin, Moshe Rosemberg (executive), Samuel Rosemberg (executive) for Producciones Panicas
directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky
starring Sergio Kleiner, Diana Mariscal, María Teresa Rivas, Tamara Garina, Juan José Arreola, Rene Rebetez, Amparo Villegas, Miguel Álvarez Acosta, Raul Romero, Julio Castillo, Adrián Ramos, Henry West, Luis Urias, Valerie Jodorowsky, Graciela R.de Mariscal, Tina French, Fuensanta, Julia Marichal, Freddy Marichal, Alejandro Romero, Hector Mariscal, Rosita Oliver, Elizabeth Moore, Vicente Moore, Greta Cohen, Basha, Miguel Kafka, Pablo Leder, Alina Sánchez, Roberto Cirou, Andonio Cepeda, Gabriel Weiss, René Alís, Sergio Rendón, Carlos Acosta, Carlos Ancira, Alfonso Toledano, Roberto Colmenares, Jacqueline Ducolomb, Carlos Savage, Rafael Corkidi, Samuel Rosemberg
screenplay by Alejandro Jodorowsky, based on the play by Fernando Arrabal, music by Pepe Ávila, Mario Lozua, Hector Morely
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Before I start retellling this film: Fando y Lis is basically a
surrealist film that defies classic storytelling, and therefore a synopsis
can never do justice to the film. For some reason, I try anyhow ...
The world lies in ruins, But young Fando (Sergio Kleiner) and his
paralyzed girlfriend Lis (Diana Mariscal) believe there is a place, the
city of Tar, where everything is still alright, where they can find
happiness, the answer to everything, and a cure for Lis' paralysis. So
Fando drags Lis on a cart or carries her on his back through a nightmarish
landscape that's made up of ruins, barren plains, and fields full of
carwrecks or animal skulls, populated by madmen and -women or at least
Eventually, Fando and Lis run across the mud people, and Fando leaves
Lis standing in the mud with them for a while (she can't run, but she can
stand), until she gets too freaked out.
Later Fando and Lis break up and Fando goes on alone, but runs into a
group of characters who torment him with whips and bowling balls and
finally push him into the grave of his own father (Rafael Corkidi), who
despite being dead, raises from his grave to party with Fando's
Ultimately, Fando joins up with Lis again, and the two are soon overrun
by a group of transvestites, who before long have put Fando into women's
cloths and Lis into men's cloths.
A father and his blind son cross ways with Fando and Lis, and the
father asks the two of them for some blood for his son, so Fando invites
him to have some of Lis' ... which to their amazement is mostly drunken by
the father himself ...
Fando meets his mother (María Teresa Rivas) who has made it a habit to
die in public - for the last 20 years. But it's only now that Fando
decently buries her that she dies for real ...
Later, Fando chains Lis to her cart in the nude to attract rapists, but
he is rather disappointed by the reaction he got out of the men who were
lured to Lis.
Ultimately, Fando and Lis have to realize that the city Tar is not a
place as such but a state of mind. Overcome by grief and disappointment,
Fando beats and stones Lis to death, then carries her corpse just like
Jesus carried the crucifix ... and when he buries her, she rises from the
dead, just like Jesus did ...
As I said, my synopsis does not do the film justice, Fando y Lis
is a surrealist masterpiece that clearly mirrors the time it was made -
the late 1960's -, and back then it caused quite a stir, at least in
Mexico, where it was ultimately banned. Of couse, by today's standards,
the film has lost much of its scandalous edge - which doesn't hurt the
movie one bit because now it can be seen as what it is, a great piece of
surrealist filmmaking, and artform that is almost forgotten today.
It might not be an easy film, and it might not be to everyone's taste
(it's definitely off-mainstream), but if you know what you're in for, it's
a great piece of cinema.