Saturday, November 7, 2015

Jodorowsky Watch: The Holy Mountain (1973)

You know...

You guys are just going to have to be on your own on this one.


Matt A. said...

I haven't seen the whole thing, but from the bits I have seen, and what I've read, it was supposed to be an alegorical telling about Jodorowsky's religious beliefs, but then he's also a crazy man given some money and a camera.

The League said...

That's right. That is exactly what the movie is in equal parts. If I didn't write a post, it's because the movie is entirely symbolism and metaphor, and it seemed exhausting and pointless to unpack all of that in a blog post that would run less than 50,000 words, and likely misinterpret between 30 and 80% of what was being said.

horus kemwer said...

But did you enjoy it?

I expected more from source material as rich as this (even if it was derision).

The League said...

Son of a bitch. The 1000 word response I just wrote failed to post thanks to TW's throttled internet. Cannot wait for Google fiber.


I'm not sure if you mean you expected more out of my post or the movie. But I'll forge ahead.

I'll never claim to be the sharpest knife in the drawer or particularly well read. I had the same "well, that was interesting" response I had to a lot of the stuff that wasn't in my wheelhouse when I was in the film school and in the years around when I was in film school where I tended to watch whatever I could get my hands on, and I could tell someone was really going bananas trying to make their movie.

I appreciated how much effort the team put into making the movie, the amazing visuals, the attempt at something truly expansive in its thinking, and not just "here, this will be weird" or "this should make you uncomfortable". It seemed Jodorowsky had a point to what he was trying, and that last scene really surprised me (and not in the same way a lot of the other scenes surprised me). I have to give a nod to filmmaking I find bold, and this would fit the bill.

But, yeah, I mean, I'd be lying if I said I got this movie 100% on this pass through. And while, in some cases, I'd consider that a failure on the part of the filmmaker, I'm also trying to adjust for cultural differences and the separation of 40 years between the film arriving and me watching it. And, of course, my failure to be necessarily aware of the source material. I'm just a dude watching a movie he'd heard about here and there.

I'm glad the movie exists, I probably won't be buying a copy any time soon, or necessarily telling anyone it's the must-see movie of 2015. But I got to flex some muscles I haven't used in a while, and I don't mind a challenge even if I'm not quite up to it.

Now, I don't give every movie a pass, because, hey, there's a load of pretentious hoo-har out there, and I don't always understand everything I see sometimes because the film maker's reach was shorter than their grasp and all that. And there's no question this movie was dancing merrily back and forth across that line. But, you know, it still basically worked at the end of the day to get you to that ending scene. If it failed to bring some other prior work to life in the same way, I get that the book is often better than the movie.

But, let's discuss. This one was pushing me pretty hard.