Monday, March 30, 2009

Revisit: The Holy Mountain

An ABKCO Film 1973

Written & Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky

A Christlike figure wanders through bizarre, grotesque scenarios filled with religious and sacrilegious imagery.

An epic exploration of the connections between religious and socio-political trends, Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain aims to be a spiritual experience of its own. Mixing traditional religious narrative with shockingly grotesque imagery, the film attempts to expose art and religion as tools of mass-mind-control. As with many of Jodorowsky's films, the bombastic and eclectic imagery often overshadows the thematic intent, resulting in a film that is more fun to simply absorb rather than analyze. But Jodorowsky has a lot of ideas working in here, from the artificial nature of film to the corruptive powers of prominent social/religious stature and the fraudulent nature of spiritual guru's. Decoding all of the film's symbols would be a herculean task -- objects ranging from the solar system to a war between frogs and cameleons act as representative figures -- with much of the film's icons rooted in occultism, astronomy, and alchemy.

From a production standpoint, Holy Mountain is drop dead gorgeous, particularly aided by a 2006 restoration effort, which brings much of Jodorowsky's harrowing imagery to brighter, more detailed heights. Jodorowsky is a master of the surreal, and the restoration process certainly did this film justice. Dada would be proud.

Holy Mountain is an interesting experience chock full of controversial imagery and engaging ideas. While it may not be a spiritual experience that will rock you to your core, it will certainly leave a lasting impression, most likely different for every person.


hollistercokeorgy said...

Total classic of our time.

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