Alejandro Jodorowsky's profile has risen quite considerably over the past few years. With the release of Jodorowsky's Dune, the documentary that chronicles his revolutionary Quixotic quest to adapt Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel Dune for the big screen, he seems to be more widely known than ever. However, if you took a trip back to the 1970s you'd see that the Chilean polymath's reputation was nearly as large as it is today. After years working in theater he released his second feature film, El Topo. The acid western became a cult classic and drew in fans from all over the world, including John Lennon, who thought very highly of it, and convinced the president of The Beatles' company Apple Corps, Allen Klein, to distribute it in the United States. In addition, Klein agreed to give Jodorowsky $1 million to work on his next film. The outcome was The Holy Mountain, a film of epic proportions that was released in 1973. The complex, multi-part story follows a man credited as "The Thief" and equated with Jesus Christ, a mystical alchemist played by Jodorowsky, seven powerful business people representing seven of the planets (Venus and the six planets from Mars to Pluto), a religious training regimen of spiritual rebirth, and a quest to the top of a holy mountain for the secret of immortality. During the filming of the movie Jodorowsky received spiritual training from Oscar Ichazo of the Arica School, who encouraged him to take LSD and guided him through the subsequent psychedelic experience. The soundtrack, which was produced by Jodorowsky along with legendary jazz musician Don Cherry and rock producer Ronald Frangipane, is nearly as surreal as the visuals presented on screen. It's eclectic and varied, moving through psychedelic rock and esoteric folk music, subtle tone poems to grand-scale orchestral themes, vintage dance music and a little Tuvan throat singing. Taken as a whole, the soundtrack to The Holy Mountain is a wonderful ride through one of the hidden gems of the 1970s.
- music label: ABKCO Music 2007 / Real Gone Music 2014
reviewed by Hank Ohs 01/2015