Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Holy Mountain

The Holy Mountain – Alexandro Jodorowski – A film that showcases Jodorowski’s extravagant vision of psycho-magical and astrological spiritualism through a journey of convoluted enlightenment. Jaw dropping set design, with artful compositions and opulent costumes, all closer in style to surrealist paintings than to the familiar tropes of cinema. His imagination bludgeons its excitable imprint between carnivals of adolescent fixation and a solemn fetish for spiritualism, pitching the tone somewhere between Monty Python, elaborate mysticism and the graphic novels of Max Ernst. All of which makes this a hugely entertaining, maddening, overblown and intensely individual film, replete with memorable sequences and laughable conviction. Perhaps the most memorable, for me, was the Mexican conquest – re-enacted by various reptiles (REAL reptiles), all wearing tailor-made mini suits of armour…or waddling, leaping and simply sitting in ornate garments of colourful Inca apparel. Perhaps the most laughable moment arrives at the end: a moment in which the ‘fourth wall’ is broken – revealing camera/crew and lighting, accompanied by the ‘revelatory’ knowledge that ‘Real life awaits us.’ One of many instances in which the film is nowhere near as profound as its theatrically assured and consciously symbolist boasting of the bizarre would suggest. However, the dazzling oddity, audacity and magnificent absurdity of this spectacle cannot be ignored…and should be witnessed by everyone and anyone who professes an interest in the visionary and strange. 8/10

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