Friday, January 23, 2009
The Holy Mountain
As I watched Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1973 masterpiece, The Holy Mountain, in slackjawed awe last night I had a strange feeling of precognition-that I somehow knew the ending from a dream I once had. I was not disappointed when nearly 2 hours into this surreal tale of alchemical transformation and hyperdimensional soul-cleansing, the mindfuck finally materialized as foreseen. This film is probably the closest you can come to doing hallucinogenic drugs without actually doing them. Jodorowsky's sweeping visual pageant is like a color coded voyage into a metaphysical encyclopedia crossed with a weird carnival-exploitation film. Not one second passes without an exotic animal, 1 limbed midget, or a hairy hippy with a top hat suddenly finding a reason to materialize. And unlike Mathew Barney or Vanessa Beecroft, who's work is now shown to be clearly cribbed from Jodoroswky's, the film somehow always makes sense. The hermetic systems of relation and association are always grounded in narrative, no matter how esoteric they become. At once absurd and profound, The Holy Mountain is like any other quest for spiritual enlightenment, a process that is constantly revealing itself to be exactly the opposite of what you expected.
Posted by Jacques de Beaufort at 7:43 PM