The Holy Mountain

The Holy Mountain ★★★★

I must be honest. I was not entirely on board with this film until it started going through the planets as captains of industry in one of the most audacious sets of "character" reveals I've seen in increasing hedonism, vulgarity and visual splendour. Jodorowsky and myself have a strange relationship; there's much I admire in his work in terms of his complete inability to restrain his vision for anyone, but am struck with what does tend to become an indulgent and overly drawn out experience. Fortunately compared to my experience with El Topo, I find The Holy Mountain to be a far more satisfying experience. Perhaps that's changes in myself as a film lover and my spiritual self, but The Holy Mountain for all its moments that can indeed be seen as rather masturbatory or a director in love with himself, there is a greater sense of cohesion not found in that film. This is absolutely a political and spiritual piece of art; Jodorowsky through the well-thought out visuals crafts an abstract story that spits on materialism, consumerism and the state of modern war. He self inserts himself as The Alchemist and rips each planet and the Thief from their individual greeds and lusts for an ascent of enlightment to the top of the Holy Mountain, before breaking the fourth wall in a rare case of cinematic honesty to say "Yes I'm smashing you in the face with my viewpoint, and I will not apologise.". This is something that would typically frustrate me in most films but considering the entire affair has no apologies whatsoever, it feels like the right way to end the entire picture. As previously mentioned the visuals are as provocative as ever and shot to perfection. There are a large number of images that have become iconic since its release, and for good reason. This is for the most part a purely visual experience, particularly the first hour, with some entertaining musical score to settle the surreal mood in nicely. I think I will have to rewatch The Holy Mountain again some day so I can offer some in-depth thoughts. While I still see some of the personal pitfalls in structure and pace that can rip me out of the experience of watching a Jodorowsky film, as the hours go by after watching it I am left with an increasingly positive impression of The Holy Mountain.

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