Holy Mountain, The
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“The Holy Mountain” was recently released in a box set called “The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky” which also contains Jodorowsky’s earlier films “Fando Y Lis” (which includes the “La Constellation Jodorowsky documentary”, “El Topo”, the soundtracks for “The Holy Mountain” and “El Topo” and an early Jodorowsky short “La Cravate”. It is also available separately, but for the adventures movie watcher, the Box set is the way to go.
“The Holy Mountain” is not only my favorite Jodorowsky film, it is easily in my top 10 all time films. That being said, it is not for everyone. The film is incredibly surreal. Not quite as dark, or aesthetically beautiful as a David Lynch film, but it is much more colorfully, and lively than the typical Lynch outing. The movie filled with some of the oddest scenes ever filmed. To give you a taste, this film includes a striking opening which shows a figure clad in black shaving two naked women’s heads, a parade complete with skinned crucified lambs, a reenactment of the Spanish taking over the Aztecs with frogs taking on the acting duties, that is just a taste of what is in the first 10 minutes of this films. What follows just gets stranger and more stunning. Think Terry Gilliam meets Louis Carol meets a major dose of LSD. Yes it is that strange, and do your self a favor, watch this one sober (at least once), the movie is enough of a tip on its own.
Visually, this one of the most interesting movies you will ever see. Filled with occult and religious imagery, the film itself feels like a hallucinatory dream. This being said the movie never drags. It manages to keep interesting, and never lingers too long to bore the average movie watcher. This is one of those cases where the weirdness happens to not only be intriguing, but entertaining.
Plot wise, let’s just say Jodorowsky was on some good stuff when he came up with this one. Essentially, it’s about a Thief (who happens to bare more than a slight resemblance to Jesus) who meets an Alchemist (who is very much a father/spiritual leader figure) who leads the thief and a group of people from various planets on a spiritual journey to “The Holy Mountain”. The first half of the film focuses on the Thief finding, and learning from the alchemist, while the second half tells the tale of who the Alchemist and Thief’s fellow travelers are, as well as the journey itself. Symbolism abounds in this sometimes funny, weird, quirky, disturbing, but almost always brilliant film. It is as much as an experience as it is a narrative tale. It is one of few films that deserve to be called a truly unique experience.
Anchor Bay has done an incredible job on this release. Despite the Fact that “The Holy Mountain” is an obscure movie from 1973, the transfer on this is remarkable (check out http://www.pulsingcinema.com/jodorowsky/holymountain.htm for some screen shots that compare it to an earlier release and be amazed). The DVD also contains Commentary from Jodorowsky as well as deleted scenes and a short feature where Jodorowsky discusses his interest in the Tarot, and its influence on “The Holy Mountain”. A little note for Fan’s of Marilyn Manson, Manson is a huge fan of Jodorowsky, and anyone familiar with Manson’s videos will see the influence quite clearly.
“The Holy Mountain” is one of the most eccentric movies every created. Like all things eccentric, it will not appeal to everyone. Those who do not mind a little taste of the absurd owe to themselves to watch this masterpiece. Go ahead, you know you have Netflix, check it out. If you dig, do yourself a favor and buy the box set. At less than $50, it’s a steal. For this reviewer “The Holy Mountain” is a clear example of where Grotesque meets Beauty and something completely amazing is born. Now, if Anchor Bay will just release “Santa Sangre” in the states we’ll be ready to go. 5 Cans.
Added: Thursday, May 10, 2007
Related Link: The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky on Amazon.com
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