We all exist in our own personal reality of craziness.
Surrealism was necessary – essential, even – in the 1920s to bridge the gap between rationalism and the subconscious. It started something important. But by the early ’60s, it had become petit-bourgeois; it was too intellectual and romantic, and had ground to a halt. It had become respectable.
Life is beautiful, what do you think? In the morning I say, ‘Ah, I am alive still!’ All my friends die already. I am alive. It is fantastic.
Scientific thought and the miraculous unconscious are two waves in the same ocean.
We have to be very conscious of the fact that beneath every illness is a prohibition. A prohibition that comes from a superstition.
You live in the image you have of the world. Every one of us lives in a different world, with different space and different time.
When I was a young person I went to the university and I learned a rational language, to think with the left side of the brain. But in the right side of the brain you have intuition and imagination. Words are not the truth; they indicate the way to go, but you need to go alone, in silence. Symbols have a language that kills the words.
I believe in mysticism, with an interior goal, and you are your own temple and your own priest. I don’t believe anymore in religions, because you see today there are religious wars, prejudice, false morals, and the woman is despised. Religion is too old now; it’s from another century, it’s not for today.
In history, psychedelic plants were used by priests and shamans with a desire to discover the interior.
I hated Peter O’Toole. I wanted to kill that guy! When they said he was dead, I was happy. People said, ‘Poor Peter O’Toole.’ I was happy!
Normality is to be different. Every person is a different person. And one day you need to be aware of your difference. Aware that you are not the same as the others. That is to be normal.
People say I am mad. I am not mad. I am trying to heal my soul.
Five cats and a woman. That is all I need in life.
Birds born in cages think that flying is a disease.
I am like the rain: I go where I’m needed.
My ego every day is more and more polite. I tame it.
If God gives you chocolate, you open your mouth, no?
We are all working for the immortality of the human consciousness.
I am not a normal person. I am living in a normal body, but my mind is not normal.
My wife is 37 years younger than me. I don’t feel the difference.
I don’t regret any past. I am not there. I am not sorry not to make pictures, because I know one day I will do it. I intend to live 150 years.
My consciousness is without limits more than when I was 40 or 50.
I don’t see myself as a moviemaker only, you know? When I can do a picture, I do. But I don’t work like a business, in pictures. I am not obliged to make one picture after the other in order to live.
I write books, I write for comic books, I give lectures… I live. And when the opportunity comes to do a picture, I do a picture.
I am an artist, you understand? For me, a picture is like poetry. When you make art, this is not coming from an intellectual place. It’s coming from the deep side of your unconscious, your soul.
Life is a mixing of all kind of things: comedy and tragedy going together.
My father was a monster. A monster! I cut with my family when I was 23 and I never see them again.
The planet is ill, everyone knows that. But I need to be optimistic, otherwise I would just be adding to the negativity. So every night I come on Madrid TV and read a piece of good news.
I want to liberate my imagination and my mind with every kind of movie. That is what I wanted to do all my life.
The first thing I didn’t understand was my life. It’s a mystery. And today I don’t understand economy or politics. I don’t know why politics or economy are destroying the world, but I will understand after understanding.
I am not a commercial industry creator. I don’t believe in making art to make money.
I live making comics. Comics is an industrial art but less suffering, because comics are for young people who are more adventurous. I do that. I live off comics, and then I write books, but when you want movies, you cannot make movies without money.
Don’t make your living with cinema because Hollywood will take you, will eat you, will destroy you. This is the reality. You have a good picture, have success, you take the person and they destroy you.
A man doesn’t cry. In my life, I’ve never cried. I cannot do it. I am a man. How will I cry?
I don’t live in France; I live in myself.
If you are great, ‘El Topo’ is a great picture. If you are limited, ‘El Topo’ is limited.
I didn’t want to make cinema so a person forgets himself and has a lot of fun. ‘I forget myself, I am a little poor consumer.’ I wanted to make a picture where someone who sees it say, ‘This is me! This is me!’
I am old, but I feel very beautiful.
I like Hollywood movies. I like them like I like to eat scrambled eggs; I like them for fun.
When I’m tired, I see industrial pictures. But I’ll see one every two months. If I see one every day, I’ll become an idiot.
All the pictures I could never do, I’ll do it in comics. All the comics I do are the pictures I could never do.
I don’t believe in failing. I have dignity.
Today a picture has value if it makes a lot of money. Myself, I declare I want to make a picture to lose money. Really! I want to lose money.
I always think that art is a form of sacrifice.
I am still radical!
Pretty soon we will no longer have movies. We will have television series only.
‘Santa Sangre’ is the picture I love the best, myself, because ‘El Topo’ and ‘The Holy Mountain’ I made with my head, and ‘Santa Sangre’ I made with my feelings, with my heart. It’s an emotional picture. And it’s more real for me, that picture.
In Chile, they have no movies. They have awful popular movies.
I grew up in the north of Chile, and this is why there are a lot of religious symbols in my pictures: because the Catholic Church in Latin America is very strong.
When my father died, I did not cry. When my cat died three days later, I cried a lot.
I was alone as a child. I lived in fairytales, adventures, Shakespeare. They are the friends, my books.
The world is not violent. But there is a lot of violence in it.
I don’t have interest in life. Life has an interest in me.
In order to be something, you must do something.
When I was an adolescent, I abandoned my country at 23 years to come to Paris to know Andre Breton, the ‘Pope of Surrealism.’ And for three years, I was there working with him being a surrealist.
For me, surrealism is in my blood; it’s not an effort.
For me they are no different, reality and dreams.
I am not like Hitchcock, directing the reaction of the public or the audience. I don’t like that. I think this is some kind of fascism – ‘You need to react like that.’ No. No. It’s not like this; everyone needs to react as he can.
I’m a purist.
The tarot is sacred.
One day I was sitting in my own pain, and suddenly all the pain and troubles of the world came to me. I received all the pain of the world, all through my body.
In Mexico, when we want to speak deep secrets, we drink pulgue together. It is a drink made from the cactus plant, and when you take the bottle from your mouth, it leaves a string behind, between the mouth and the bottle, like a spider’s web. It shows that the truth sticks inside.
Death is an art, you know.
My second wife, the mother of one of my sons, died of murder. I was not with her, but I could have saved her. I think.
When I started to pay income tax, I was 50 years old.
I was a happy man, never working. Sometimes I saw days with no money to eat. It was not so difficult.
The worse the newspapers speak of the world, the better I feel.
George Harrison wanted to play the thief in ‘Holy Mountain.’
My grandfather was a very mystical guy who travelled from Argentina to Chile, across the mountains with a donkey, carrying the Torah.
Failure doesn’t exist. It’s only a change of direction.
What’s important is to give your ideas to the world if you love the world.
I am an honest artist.
I never wanted to study art. And I don’t think you need to study art if you are an artist. It’s even dangerous to go to school. You need to do whatever you want, as you want.
Every one of us is a perfect human being, deformed by the family, the society and the culture.
The end of the surrealism movement was so political, so artistically pure.
To be an artist, you need to play inside your work.
Psychoanalysis wants to heal with words and speaking, but sometimes with speaking, you realize nothing.
I wanted to be loved by my father. I could do anything to be loved by my father.
It’s so weird to be alive and to be inside a body.
It’s not the same thing to make a work – a film, a book, a play – about youth as it is to make one about old age.
I feel terrible for directors of TV because all the episodes have to look the same. They make a great series for five or six years, and then when it’s canceled, they can’t break out on their own.
I had a big problem working with stars, because they are too expensive and have too many demands. Their names help you raise the money to make the movie, but then they demand close-ups. They change things. You end up doing things at their service instead of servicing the film.
I tweet 15 times a day to keep my brain stimulated.
I felt so alone as a boy because no one wanted to be friends with me.
In movies, images cost – if you want a big image, it takes more money.
I am a poet; I am not a worker. I need to be free.
You dream every night. Every person in the world, even if they don’t remember, is dreaming every night.
I say, ‘If somebody steals something of yours, then it’s good; he loves what you do.’
I was like a mutant when I was a boy. I learned to read when I was four years old; it was like a miracle.
Human society has dense borders – economic, religious and cultural – inculcated from an early age. We hate change.
Being essentially a creator, I never set out to shock, always thinking about creating my work and not about the benefits it could produce.
My ideal audience is on the young side, eager to mutate and move to a higher level of consciousness. I want my images to turn the viewer’s brain into what it is: a flying carpet.
My films are like clouds: their meaning keeps changing every minute.
A person is not the same in his life at all times. Your consciousness is developing all the time. When I started making ‘El Topo,’ I was one person. When I finished that picture, I was another person.
If you don’t make errors, how can you be conscious?
I don’t want to just love my family; I want to love all of humanity.
The Arabs have a God, the Jews have another, and the Catholics have another! And they’re all fighting to maintain that they worship the one real God. Idiots!
For me ‘Dune’ was a dream – a big dream!
Books are finished.
My films are completely new. I am not similar to anybody in the history of movies.
Movies have an enormous power to open the mind and the heart and everything.
All my life, I have never found a person who really loved this world. Every person hates the world, how he is.
When you put a great amount of energy and hope in a big project, you can be destroyed if you don’t do it.
Every person, every artist makes his life an artwork.
We only have problems we really want to have.
To have hands, to have fingers, is weird. Real life is weird, to have fingers?
I am not a man. I am not a human being inside. I am not that. I don’t know what I am, but I am not that.
I liked Lady Gaga’s meat dress. It was funny.
Lady Gaga has a lot of energy, and that is fantastic, but she is using old surrealist images.
Surrealism – in particular with Salvador Dali – was all about ego. It was all about extreme individualism.
I have always thought that, of all the arts, the cinema is the most complete art.
Tarantino’s ‘Django’ amused me very much. It is as made by an adult that was still a child.
Every work of art belongs to his time. I would not paint again the Mona Lisa in the third dimension.
When I brought ‘El Topo’ to New York, no one understood the picture. But John Lennon understood. John and Yoko Ono, they presented ‘El Topo’ in the United States; they introduced it.
I am like a woman. I have a woman inside me.
A true artist is always out of his time.
My father was an atheist, absent. He was a salesman; I was four years old when he told me that the end of life was death.
Society feeds terror and is in turn terrorized; we are afraid to lose, so we consume.
Revolutions are of no us;, it is necessary to work on transforming the brain: on sowing a different knowledge/awareness, on creating a new conscience, that is like a magic box full of brains.
Let the inner god that is in each one of us speak. The temple is your body, and the priest is your heart: it is from here that every awareness must begin.
When I’m not creating something, I get bored; I despair.
I’ve seen ‘Hamlet’ many times, and Hamlet, he was just a hideous neurotic; he never changes. He doubts – all the way to the end, all the way until when he dies, he doubts.
Maybe I am a prophet. I really hope one day there will come Confucius, Muhammad, Buddha and Christ to see me. And we will sit at a table, taking tea and eating some brownies.
Accepting death is a massive problem for everybody.