Alejandro Jodorowsky is a Chilean-French filmmaker, playwright, actor, author, musician, comics writer and spiritual guru. Best known for his avant-garde films, he has been "venerated by cult cinema enthusiasts" for his work which "is filled with violently surreal images and a hybrid blend of mysticism and religious provocation".
Born to Jewish-Ukrainian parents in Chile, Jodorowsky experienced an unhappy and alienated childhood, and so immersed himself in reading and writing poetry. Dropping out of college, he became involved in theater and in particular mime, working as a clown before founding his own theater troupe, the Teatro Mimico, in 1947. Moving to Paris in the early 1950s, Jodorowsky studied mime under Étienne Decroux before turning to cinema, directing the short film Les têtes interverties in 1957. From 1960 he divided his time between Paris and Mexico City, in the former becoming a founding member of the anarchistic avant-garde Panic Movement of performance artists. In 1966 he created his first comic strip, Anibal 5, whilst in 1967 he directed his first feature film, the surrealist Fando y Lis, which caused a huge scandal in Mexico, eventually being banned.