The Holy Mountain

The Holy Mountain

The Holy Mountain is a film I have watched three times over the past five days. Once blind, once with the assistance of English subtitles, and once with Jodorowsky's commentary. My first viewing of The Holy Mountain was simply the most painful I have ever received with a film, literally worse than Cannibal Holocaust. I wanted to cry and vomit for the rest of the night after having seen it. Second viewing I was meh. Third viewing was somewhat enlightening.

Jodorowsky is not David Lynch; he is pretty open about what went into making this film and what his intentions were. Anything I can say about it is probably better said coming from him. His commentary mentions Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, freemasonry, stories of the US and Mexico and China, his experiences with Shamans and previous teachers, his mastery and creation of a new Tarot card system; really, Jodorowsky is an artist of the 20th century through and through, someone who has access to a new wholly technological and interconnected world that can now draw on influences from anywhere and everywhere. He mentions a half dozen predictions that came true within the film.

My personal experience with the film was functionally my own holy mountain. It is difficult and grueling climb, and one I can't say I enjoyed, but wholly satisfying and rewarding upon reaching the top. This film honestly sours my opinion of so much of later experimental cinema solely because this set the damn bar so high in 1973. Jodorowsky really just broke the medium and what you could do and say with it, and while I can't say it's for me or wholly palatable, it is something I tremendously respect and will come back to once I get my hands on Arrow Video's upcoming Blu-Ray release. It's there if you want it.

No rating. Jodorowsky says he does not make art to win awards, and I'm not challenging him on that.

ADDENDUM: Yeah so in the time since I first wrote this, this has become one of my favorite films. Life is funny.

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