I’m a huge Carl Jung guyOn Saturday night I went to see a 4K restoration of
The Holy Mountain (1973)
Truly and utterly baffling, completely hilarious, at times pretentious, shallow and disgusting, but in equal parts absolutely beautiful and profound, all in one; where the hell do you even start when talking about this wonderful film
A basic description of the plot does little to describe it - an Alchemist is joined by a Christ-like figure, and a range of other bizarre individuals as they go through a series of mystical rites in order to reach the summit of a holy mountain where they hope to attain immortality... Ok, that sounds strange enough I am sure, but it does not even come close. Over the course of two hours we are subjected to an absolute assault on the eyes as a range of dazzling, psychedelic and hypnotic images flash before us. Not to downplay the ideology of it, but more than anything it is an extremely visual film which needs to be seen.
It is a complete whirlwind of surrealist imagery. Visually it is incredibly rich...but with that said, there are also important ideological impulses in the film. The entire thing is fundamentally shaped by Jodorowosky's own personal belief system, seemingly cobbled together from his readings of eastern mysticism, western occultism (Tarot cards), and Jungian philosophy. The imagery of the film is saturated with these ideas. At times it comes off as a bit trite and flimsy, but despite that there is some genuinely engaging ideas contained there. Among general critiques of modern society - anti-imperialist, anti-industrialist, anti-consumerist, anti-a-lot-of-things really - there is also a genuine, serious philosophy of personal enlightenment (as Jodorowsky's saw it). This is pretty much submerged within the overall surrealism and at times is lost within the biting satire, but is fully recaptured at the very end....
It's a film I watched years ago along with El Topo (1970), must be at least 4 or 5 years now, but back then I would say my film describing skills where not much up to par. Very interesting to watch it again now, especially on the big screen in glorious 4K.