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The Holy Mountain [Blu-ray]

4.0 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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(Apr 26, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

The scandal of the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, writer/director Alejandro Jodorowsky's flood of sacrilegious imagery and existential symbolism is a spiritual quest for enlightenment pitting illusion against truth. The Alchemist (Jodorowsky) assembles together a group of people from all walks of life to represent the planets in the solar system. The occult adept's intention is to put his recruits through strange mystical rites and divest them of their wordly baggage before embarking on a trip to Lotus Island. There they ascend the Holy Mountain to displace the immortal gods who secretly rule the universe.

Special Features

Original theatrical trailer
Deleted Scenes with commentary by Alejandro Jodorowsky
"The Tarot" with commentary by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Holy Mountain restoration processs
Feature commentary by Alejandro Jodorowsky

Product Details

  • Actors: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Horacio Salinas, Juan Ferrara
  • Directors: Alejandro Jodorowsky
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen, Color
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese Brazilian
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: ABKCO / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: April 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004LWL0P2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,663 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Holy Mountain [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By W.T.Hoffman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 31, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this film for what has to be the lamest of reasons. I heard that John and Yoko considered it one of their favorite films. So, I figured i'd like the movie. I started the DVD, and about 20 minutes in, when the Jesus like character takes a dump inside a glass jar, which is then baked, and the fumes moved into this 8 foot large decanteur, in which the Jesus like character was enclosed, I stopped the film. Later, I started the film again, but stopped it at the anus washing scene. When this old man pulls out his glass eye, and puts it into the hand of a 7 year old child prostitute, I had to turn away, but I didnt turn it off. Hey, at least the film was making me REACT. I finally got thru the film, and thought, "This is the more weirdest film ever made." I had no idea if I had been conned, or if I had missed the point. I watched it again, after watching some of the bonus materials. (mostly about the director's daliance with Zen Dharma, and the Tarot.) Then the symbolism became clearer. I've read alchemical books, and know the Hermetic roots of the Tarot. I've explored psychedelic psychopharmacology, and various forms of gramacy. So, I could tell what Jodorowsky was presenting was serious, not a put on. This is not to say, that I was able to watch the scatological portions of the film, or the parts that caused me repulsive, subconscous fear. The third time I saw the film (ie, the third or fourth day I had it), I listened to the director's commentary. I can respect that some art, is more demanding than other art, and this film IS demanding. Thankfully, Jodorowsky deconstructes the film, explains its symbolism, its backround, and his own esthetic philosophy. So it took work on my part, to discover I was watching a profound masterpiece of cinematic art.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
In a culture desensitized by violent brutality and computer-generated wizardry, it may be enough to say that I watched The Holy Mountain, which contains neither, with my mouth hanging open the entire time. I still can't quite believe that such a film was ever made, though I've long sensed that such a film should be. While not overtly violent, The Holy Mountain is punctuated by graphic, shocking and heretical images, but these only form one aspect of its jaw-dropping resonance. Jodorowsky's film is original, audacious, visually and thematically inspired. It's also kind of funny.

In essence the film is a series of literalized metaphors about the archetypal spiritual journey to experience reality beyond illusion, a quest motivated by a desire to transcend the absurd horrors of civilization: war, greed, corruption, self-obsession and the politics of power. As such the characters and events themselves are largely symbolic. Unlike a lot of avant-garde films, Holy Mountain's narrative is structured and surprisingly linear, though it flowers like a rambling, slightly disjointed dream.

Jodorowsky's spiritual path is an unflinching synthesis of the basic conceptual and aesthetic elements of many mystical traditions, including Zen's formal simplicity, Kabbalic and Hindu ritual, Alchemical processes, Shamanic trials, master/student dynamics and the mythology of the Holy Mountain itself, all of which are gracefully blended into the artful and psychedelic texture of the film.

Despite the clichéd "ancient wisdom" aspect of some moments, The Holy Mountain achieves what is a fairly fresh and ultimately tongue-in-cheek attempt to enlighten the audience.
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2 Comments 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Length: 0:52 Mins
4 Comments 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I have now purchased a copy of The Films of Alejandro Jodorowski and I give this film even a higher recommendation than I did before. The DVD is superb, and it's a nice plus to run Jodorowski's commentary track as subtitles on the film itself, since the commentary is in Spanish anyway.

El Topo was about a man seeking enlightenment and was made before Jodorowsky had ever smoked marijuana or taken LSD. The Holy Mountain is the attempt to enlighten the entire society. To prepare, he found a Guru, who gave him LSD. Then after he had gathered his cast, he took them on a three month retreat to prepare, and the film itself seems to have taken six months to shoot. When I met Jodorowsky in 2003, he called El Topo his favorite son; The Holy Mountain his troubled son; and Santa Sangre his perfect son. All three are essential works. Jodorowsky truly is Alexandro the Great.

Holy Mountain is not about being high, it is about seeing through all illusions, of which getting high very much is one of those illusions. It is a huge satire of the modern world in which the Alchemist (played by Alexandro himself) finds the most horrible people in the solar system, and then takes them on a quest that pacifies them by promising immortality - just like the regular religions!

For a film that does not go "inside" any of the characters -- we see them in beautifully framed compositions -- it is very easy to follow and never lets the viewer down. In the end, he even reveals the secret of immortality. "And here we are -- mortals, more human than ever."

I think I should note that Richard Rutowski, who worked with Oliver Stone on several of his most interesting works (like The Doors, Nixon, and U Turn), plays the character Axon.

I believe The Holy Moutain may be the most perfect Utopian vision ever put on film.

And if someone tried to make a film like this today, they'd probably be arrested.
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