Monday, April 21, 2008

The Holy Mountain

Recently I posted briefly about my trip through Philip K. Dick's gnostic psychosis. Being a book the insanity on offer there could only do something for the reader if he brings his own dose of insanity to the table (for one, committing to finishing it). Well last weekend I was exposed to something exponentially more irrational (trans-rational?) in the form of a film. Most people are well trained to sit through a movie, making this also more effective.

A friend brought over The Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky. I really can't describe it beyond saying it is hyper-surreal, sacrilegious, graphic and fairly repulsive in parts, and on the whole soul disturbing. It's full to brim with symbols from various mystical systems (Christianity, tarot, etc.) in strange scene after strange scene, all loosely tied together by a figure on a spiritual quest. This sort of thing may have been common back in the sixties and seventies, but it's alien and quite fresh to me. I followed up on the auteur behind it and he is as colorful and bizarre as the film. Jodorowsky is a Chilean of Ukrainian descent, was run out of Mexico for heretical film-making, and is now a comic book artist of some renown in France. I ended up ordering some of his graphic novels and the box set of his other films. I'm sure I'll have to post once again after seeing those.

You should see this, if only because someone actually was able to pull it off. But if possible you should do it at some point when you are at least marginally curious and informed about mysticism. And why should you ever be? Well I came across a related quote today post which seems as good a reason as any:

"Nonsense is nonsense, but the study of nonsense is scholarship."