Alejandro Jodorowsky’s follow up to his unexpected cult smash El Topo (the film credited with creating the Midnight Movie craze of the 1970s) is, like its predecessor, a mind melting excursion into the frontier of psychedelic mysticism, spiritual enlightenment and unhinged, violent imagery.
Causing uproar when it screened at Cannes in 1973, its story follows ‘The Alchemist’ (played by Jodorowsky himself), who oversees a series of mysterious rituals in order to allow ‘The Thief’ to ascend the summit of the Holy Mountain, a place where Heaven and Earth meet, and where spiritual enlightenment can be found. Joined along the way by a a variety of strange, often grotesque figures, The Holy Mountain was powered by the £1 million budget Jodorowsky was afforded following the success of El Topo, and the filmmaker again channels his hallmark preoccupations: tarot, black magic, Eastern and Western mysticism, and mind’s eye, psychic imagery.
Inspired by St. John of the Cross’ 16th-century writing The Ascent of Mount Carmel and René Daumal’s 1952 novel Mount Analogue, The Holy Mountain features some of the most stunning, expressively designed sets in the history of film, and is truly one of the most vital works of mysticism that cinema has ever created. Don’t miss the chance to see one of cult cinema’s true touchstone films like never before.
Presented in a new 4K restoration. Restorations of Jodorowsky’s El Topo and Fando & Lis also screen this month at the Tyneside Cinema.