Sunday, January 11, 2009
My name is Alan. My planet is Boss.
Perhaps it's the curiosity of the unknown that we venture into issues of things such as sanctity and romanticize it in films. The film 'The Holy Mountain' created by Alejandro Jodorowsky in the 70's backed by the Beatles throws out the romantics and feeds it LSD. I could not look away, I showed it to Ms. Gabby and she thought the idea of this film was pretty odd as well.
The film slams in head first with heavy symbolism and wordplay into the issue of religion and the human minds weakness of following and searching for the 'holy grail' by finding and climbing the holy mountain to find spiritual enlightenment and becoming one with God. This film is about a Christ looking figure who is used as a mold of the real Christ. He awakes in the beginning and ventures into a town and befriends prostitutes and a chimpanzee. The symbolism in this film is megaton. There's a scene where the man walks into a waltz occupied by soldiers who pay no attention to him carrying an idol of the Christ, but is just a mold of himself, and walks up to a rotted bible and places his image over it. He then walks up to a bed and lifts the sheet to reveal a man wearing a Pope hat spooning with a different Christ idol. The Pope kicks the man out and the man proceeds to eat his Christ figure's face and ties it, crucifixion style, to balloons and let's it go up into the sky.
The man, known as the 'thief' in the film is befriended by an alchemist who turns the thief's shit into gold, literally. The thief is representing planet Earth in this film and along the way they meet the other 8 incarnations of our solar systems planets that seek immortality and holy sanctity. The planets name describes the person, for example Mars is Ares the god of war in greek mythology. Isla who's planet is Mars manufactures weapons and special weapons for different religions. She makes weapons for Christians, Jews, and weapons made so kids will buy them, etc. These 9 follow the alchemist through a party held on a grave site where they deny all temptations of drugs that corrupt the minds of people who claim that the holy mountain is the drug and the mind is the gate of heaven.
In the end they make it to the top of the holy mountain and find that the gods they are to replace are faceless dummies. The Alchemist laughs and the camera crew laughs and reveal that it was all pointless. The whole point of the film is pointlessness. It reveals the absurdity of religion and mysticism. Jodorowsky shows an overwhelming slew of religious and mystical symbolism and many are led to believe that they are significant. Jodorowsky intones: "The flower knows. You don't need to ask it. Plants are the books where knowledge is written. The grave is your first mother." However, at the end Jodorowsky lifts the veil and shows that it was all meaningless. Even the movie is an illusion, the film admits to being a meaningless illusion, just like religion and the idea of higher powers.
In the end it was all fake. But to reach the top they changed who they were for the better. So even though there was no God and they didn't become immortal they were able to do something good with their life. They didn't corrupt themselves with drugs and war. So was the trip pointless? This was my interpretation of the ending.
This film is surely not for everyone and aimed for those with open minds or a keen sense of picking up images and understanding symbolism. If you can do anything with this it's a nice trip into this directors thoughts and creative ideas on his view of religion.