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Poster for Cult 101: The Holy Mountain (1973) on 35mm
Watch trailer for Cult 101: The Holy Mountain (1973) on 35mm Watch trailer

Cult 101: The Holy Mountain (1973) on 35mm

Opens on September 15

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky Run Time: 114 min. Rating: R Release Year: 1973

Starring: Adriana Page, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Horacio Salinas, Juan Ferrara, Zamira Saunders

Country: Mexico
Language: Spanish with English subtitles, English

Presented as part of the 2023 edition of Cult 101.

About the film:

The scandal of the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, writer/director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s flood of sacrilegious imagery and existential symbolism in The Holy Mountain (1973) is a spiritual quest for enlightenment pitting illusion against truth.

The Alchemist (Jodorowsky) assembles together a group of people from all walks of life to represent the planets in the solar system. The occult adept’s 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.

About the filmmaker:

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a renowned Chilean-French avant-garde film director, writer, and actor. Among other early activities, Jodorowsky studied mime with Marcel Marceau in Paris, co-founded the surrealist review “S.NOB”, produced scandalous plays with the theater company Producciones Panicas, and wrote books and comics before experimenting with film in Mexico. His first feature Fando and Lis (1968) was banned after causing riots. His second, the legendary cult film El Topo (1970), was credited with starting the Midnight Movie phenomenon and firmly established Jodorowsky as the master of the outrageous and the profound. His third film The Holy Mountain (1973) caused a scandal at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival with its flood of sacrilegious imagery, existential symbolism and outrageous violence.

His other features include Tusk (1980), Santa Sangre (1989), The Rainbow Thief (1990), Endless Poetry (2016), and The Dance of Reality (2013), which premiered at Cannes alongside the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013) about the filmmaker’s unsuccessful attempt to adapt and film Frank Herbert’s 1965 science fiction novel in the mid-1970s.

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