The Holy Mountain

The Holy Mountain ★★★★★

Alejandro Jodorowsky has been a beloved filmmaker to me since I was in High School. I showed The Holy Mountain to nearly everybody who would give it a chance and received generally bewildered and intense reactions to a film I find serene and breathtaking. The viewing I most vividly remember was on an old laptop with a friend of mine named Ashton, she and I were sitting in front of the classroom where the special education classes took place. It was already at least forty minutes after school had let out, a sharp silence left the air undiluted throughout a campus normally so fraught with sonic chaos. During the planetary introductions throughout the middle of the movie, Ashton began to freak out at the mind-melting conceits happening onscreen, claiming that the movie was something more than just a film, that it was branding something upon her brain that she was unsure about accepting. Suddenly the students from the special education room came out along with their teacher who asked what we were doing there. Moments later, a school security guard came up to us and asked why we were loitering on the school grounds. Flanked by officious adults and special needs students, I quickly packed up my laptop and went to Ashton's house. I offered to continue playing the movie for her, but she declined as she felt like she’d seen enough.

That particular viewing remained severed and unfinished. In my numerous rewatches of The Holy Mountain, I always reflect on this one when a quiet calm experience transformed into something confusingly noisy, disruptive, and alarming in minutes.

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