There’s only so much of this weirdness I could handle, so I’m gonna wrap this up and tell you to see THE HOLY MOUNTAIN if only so you can say you’ve seen The Ultimate Ending of Any Art Film Ever.
THE HOLY MOUNTAIN is AJ at his peak, with as much spritual mumbo jumbo as EL TOPO but a more straightforward narrative. OK, relatively more straightforward. We meet several Types, not really characters, and see their various walks of life in an off-kilter world of plastic and capitalism. If you’re watching a South American movie, you’re gonna run into the director’s socialist fantasies. Just don’t touch his residuals or you’ll see how true to their socialist ideals these guys are.
This group of Types follows a series of trials on the way to Enlightenment. This involves one guy taking a dump, which we then see cooked. I’m not kidding. I’m not going to show it, though. You’re welcome.
THE HOLY MOUNTAIN is pure, undiluted seventies New Age Los Angeles hot tub philosophy–funny how an anti-capitalist can pull that off, isn’t it? It’s almost like all that ‘spirituality’ stuff is bullshit, no matter where it comes from.
One of the sources of inspiration for the screenplay Mount Analogue: A Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing by Rene Daumal (1908-1944), a French surrealist. The spiritual journey in the second half of the movie is not bound by Daumal’s book, though: he never finished it, writing it right until the day he died. So it’s a spiritual quest that leads to the holy mountain, atop which…is an ending you could only pull off once in a movie. SOMEONE had to use the ending AJ cooked up. It’s surprising that no one tried it before this, but I’m glad someone got it out of the way.
If you watch only one AJ movie, make it THE HOLY MOUNTAIN. It’s visually interesting, it’s goofy, and the ending will either get you to kick the screen in or you’ll laugh, and at the same time admire this guy’s confidence. Jodorowsky stands for something vague and spiritual, and he can express it on film. We need that kind of movie.