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.
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 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.
'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.
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!'
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.
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.