The Holy Mountain

The Holy Mountain ★★★★★

This review contains minor spoilers after the third paragraph.

This film was astonishing from beginning to end. It is one of my favourite movies ever (I'm just adding this review one year and almost two months after watching it the first time, it is March 2020 now). This was the first time I fell in love with an artistic film.

A little bit of context: I was studying cinema in my high school and in this time I was opening myself up to more independent films, since I was getting in the world of cinema and directing a short film to show at the end of my course. Also, my teacher was showing the students films outside of our comfort zones for us to know our "type" of cinema, how we were as artists and what we enjoyed and wanted to do in the field. While I was searching films and directors, I came upon the trailer of this special film. Right at that moment, I thought: "I need to see this as soon as I can. I know for sure I'm going to enjoy it". Then, when I finally saw it, I was perplexed from beginning to end and when it ended, I considered it my all-time favourite film for various months. I identified sooo much with the characteristics and the themes in the film as if I had some of those ideas in a past life.

This film has a lot of symbology and this was the first time I identified with that symbology in some way. This was, also, the first time my head got turned around by a movie in a way that I couldn't intervene. It was an intellectual experience, as well as cultural. I don't have any religion but I do have a philosophy, as we all do. For some reason, mine tends to go to pagan beliefs, such as the New Age, the old religions and witchcraft (which this film has many references to). The Holy Mountain presented me religious symbols (despite not having a religion, I really enjoy to know everything I can about every religion I can have information on), tarot and astrology associations, incredible eccentricity and an idiosyncracy based on metaphors and surrealism. This all contributed to me thoroughly appreciating this masterpiece.

Special details I enjoy so much of this film: the abstract and allegorical deaths (there is a moment where some people are shot in the hearts, and a bird comes out of their chests), the metaphorical way of showing history (invasion of Mexico told through dressed frogs fighting), the association of the first two characters with tarot cards, the story being based on the budist belief of enlightenment, the personification of the planets (according to astrology) and the inclusion of important themes such as war, politics, sex, beliefs, industrialism, just to name a few. It seems to talk about everything connected to society and humanity, and that's something I admire in this. Plus: THE END OF THE MOVIE IS ONE OF THE BEST ENDINGS IN THE HISTORY OF CINEMA. HOW TO BREAK THE FOURTH WALL 101. And I feel it's so fitting in this theme of ascension.

I could talk about the actual story of this and not its themes or characteristics, but it wasn't the actual details of the plot that made me enjoy the movie. The approach of the author, now that was one of the most important things whilst I was experiencing this film. Despite loooving the inclusion of alchemy and how the stories of the important people (planets personified) were shown, the things I was fascined in, despite the idiosyncrasy, were the cinematography and the art department. The way everything was incredibly planned in detail by Jodorowsky, as you can see in his other films, was fascinating for me the first time I watched this. It gave off the stunning visuals that encompass this piece of art. The sound department is also amazing in this film, the way the music tunes with the visuals or the actual sound effects do. If I remember something important I did not put in this review, I'll add it after, but I think I'm done, for now.

Clearly one of the best cinematic works out there.

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