El Topo + The Holy Mountain

El Topo + The Holy Mountain

El Topo + The Holy Mountain

Embark on a mind-bending journey with visionary filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky's double feature – "El Topo" and "The Holy Mountain" – a surreal cinematic odyssey that challenges boundaries and transcends the ordinary, promising an unforgettable experience for daring cinephiles.

El Topo

Famously, John Lennon and Yoko Ono discovered El Topo in 1969 and were impressed with the surreal, bizarre, and visceral imagery which was presented in a ‘psychedelic-western’ theme of personal transformation. The film was so controversial, when The New York Times published a review dismissing it, outcries from the film’s supporters forced them to rethink their position. It was the first time in the venerable newspaper’s history where they bowed to public pressure and allowed a counter review. In the years to follow, El Topo would go on to inspire everyone from David Lynch to Dennis Hopper to The Mighty Boosh, and even inspired Peter Gabriel to write his concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. 

The legendary cult film was credited with starting the Midnight Movie phenomenon and firmly established Alejandro Jodorowsky as the master of the outrageous and the profound. In the late 1960s, when Spaghetti Westerns were all the rage, Alejandro Jodorowsky used the syntax and style of this genre as a vehicle to tell the surreal odyssey of mysticism and enlightenment. After abandoning his young son, a brazen gunslinger attempts to defeat four masters, and become the preeminent, but he is betrayed and left for dead. Recused by an underground collection of socially shunned and forsaken dwarfs, paraplegic, and disfigured people, he finds redemption. When he attempts to return to the conventional world, he is confronted with a society of decadence and perversion.

At the time, Mexico had strict rules about film making, severely limiting production. Alejandro circumvented the restrictions by shooting the script as short films, which became ‘chapters’ in the final film. He also engaged in guerrilla production tactics, most notably using an abandoned Hollywood film set they stumbled upon in the Mexican desert and converting it for the final act.

This stunning and vibrant 4K restoration, overseen by Mr. Jodorowsky, who originally envisioned El Topo as a widescreen presentation, in homage to Sergio Leone.

Certified Fresh - Rotten Tomatoes

"Violent, visionary, vital." - Empire Magazine

"splendid cinematography, astonishing production design and an incredibly human story. " - El Pais

"It's tempting to say they don't make films like this any more, but I'm not sure anyone has ever made them like Jodorowsky." - Times UK

"It's a bizarre head-trip festival" - Guardian

"It remains an aesthetically intoxicating trip." - Time Out


The Holy Mountain

The Holy Mountain premiered as the scandal of the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. Writer/director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s flood of sacrilegious imagery and existential symbolism is a surreal sojourn for enlightenment pitting illusion against truth. The Alchemist (Jodorowsky) assembles an elite group of thieves - ‘industrialists and politicians’ - that represent the planets in the solar system. The master’s adept intention is to put his recruits through strange mystical rites and divest them of their worldly baggage before embarking on a trip to Lotus Island. There they ascend the Holy Mountain to displace the immortal gods who secretly rule the universe.

Following his meteoric rise in the wake of El Topo, Alejandro was given a budget of $1 million dollars (equivalent to $4 million today) and total artistic freedom for his follow up project. He wrote the screenplay, designed the sets and costumes, co-wrote the music, directed and acted in the film. He rejected using known or professional actors, and instead employed persons with actual backgrounds that matched their characters for many key roles.

The Holy Mountain is a mythical, mystical masterpiece, a Hieronymus Bosch painting come to life - part spiritual quest, part science fiction, part social satire, and completely without comparison.

"an extraordinary visual concoction" - Salon.com

"Not even Buñuel with a brainful of Woodstock's bad brown acid could have made something this gloriously screwy." - Time Out

"it is a dream tableau of the weird and occasionally wonderful.- Guardian

"Alejandro Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain is a dazzling, rambling, often incoherent satire on consumerism, militarism and exploitation." - New York Times

Release Date: Apr 8, 2024
Rating: MA15
Runtime: 279 mins
Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Actors: Alejandro Jodorowsky

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