Mirror and Holy Mountain

I recently had a spirited discussion with a friend about philosophy and religion in Andrei Tarkovsky and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s films. We were discussing Holy Mountain, which he’d lent me to watch over the weekend. I happened to watch it soon after watching Tarkovsky’s Mirror (well, partly watching – it was so beautiful. so overwhelming that I couldn’t finish it. I stopped after this scene.)

If you consider the fact that I watched the two back to back, watching The Holy Mountain was kinda like watching Family Guy after having seen a few scenes of Mirror. Either way, Jodorowsky had something to say in Holy Mountain, and it was good! My observation was that he seemed to concentrate on groupthink/group mentalities vs. Tarkovsky’s individual exploration of spiritualism.

But I think what Jodorowsky did in The Holy Mountain was of utmost importance to this next thing: he effectively killed his movie and his way of making movies at the end of Holy Mountain. In breaking the fourth wall at the end of the film, he says “Hey, it’s not real, get over it and move on.” (paraphrasing, of course, but a lesson we can all use). What he also did to his filmmaking was to…kill it. In revealing the truth of religion and beliefs and filmmaking, he cast light and destruction on his own style. To that, my friend pointed out that Jodorowsky didn’t make another film for ten years – another cult favorite of mine: Santa Sangre.

On a personal level, this is inspiring to me. The idea of destroying your process (when you recognize it as necessary) and starting anew and fresh is not a bad one. Jodorowsky and Tarkovsky are definitely two of my favorite filmmakers.

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