The Holy Mountain

The Holy Mountain ★★★★

Jodo's follow up to El Topo (partially funded and produced by the goddamn Beatles) sees the director's surrealist proclivities taken to their extreme conclusion. Holy Mountain is completely psychotic in its visual and narrative style. We are attacked with images and metaphor for two hours straight. We become exhausted by the end. We feel a sense of truth coming from the vignettes that make up the whole. We never quite get close enough to touch the sun and in that final moment when it should all coalesce into a grand moment of meaning, Jodo pulls out the rug and tells us it is all a joke. Nothing is real.
It's daring in its approach and I'm fairly certain there is nothing like it in this whole world. What a gift we have in this film. Certainly not for the faint of heart or film-watchers who prefer safe entertainment, but it isn't quite as profound or intellectual as it wants us to think either. The film does this on purpose. It's a pure drug experience that induces the effects of a drug such as LSD and may mean more to someone on a trip or it may unravel under such conditions. The film rests in its own space, separated from our realities. The tarot will lead us to the underlying truth but the message of the tarot is shrouded in symbolism that may point to something more or simply acts as an abstraction for the most basic of interpretations. Jodo is absolutely fascinating to me in every aspect of his art.

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