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El Topo, Holy Mountain Blu-ray Detailed

Posted March 4, 2011 03:47 AM by Juan Calonge

Anchor Bay EntertainmentAnchor Bay Home Entertainment, in conjunction with ABKCO Music and Records, has revealed the official details for Alejandro Jodorowski's cult movies El Topo and The Holy Mountain, which as previously reported (see, February 4), are slated for a Blu-ray release on April 26. Both films have received new, director-supervised HD transfers (in 2K for The Holy Mountain).

El Topo

El Topo, first released theatrically in 1969, made Jodorowsky a household name with the counterculture crowd of the early 1970s. El Topo provided the template for "Midnight Movie Madness," screening seven nights a week at midnight for seven straight months at the infamous Elgin Cinema in New York. Paradoxically, the film was thoroughly panned by the film critic of the New York Times but it was then lauded by the paper's art critic who called it "a monumental work of filmic art." To say that El Topo became a "cult classic" is something of an understatement in light of its surprisingly broad acceptance fueled, in part, by ringing endorsements from John Lennon and Yoko Ono that made it a commercial success in its own time.The film conflates classic American western and avant-garde European sensibilities with Zen Buddhism and the Bible as master gunfighter and mystic El Topo (played by writer/director Jodorowsky) attempts to defeat four sharp-shooting rivals on a bizarre path to allegorical self-awareness and resurrection.

Special features include:
  • Feature commentary by Alejandro Jodorowsky
  • On-camera interview with Alejandro Jodorowsky
  • Photo gallery
  • Original script excerpts
  • Original theatrical trailer
The Holy Mountain

The Holy Mountain was Jodorowsky's high budget follow-up to the worldwide success of El Topo, and took his psychedelic allegorical mastery to another level. He prepared for making the film by undergoing a psycho-spiritual boot camp, training in the spiritual arts and rituals that included a week of sleep deprivation under the supervision of a Zen master and LSD trips shepherded by a guru. Prior to shooting the film, the crew lived in isolation under Jodorowsky's direction for a month. Visually and viscerally, the film is a masterwork that benefitted greatly from a labor intensive 2K scan restoration, which greatly enhanced The Holy Mountain's color palate from its initial release.

When it was screened at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, riots broke out in response to Jodorowsky's flood of sacrilegious imagery and existential symbolism. The Holy Mountain chronicles a quest for enlightenment, pitting illusion against the truth as The Alchemist, played by the director, assembles a group of people from all walks of life to represent the planets in the solar system. Strange and provocative mystical rites to divest them of their worldly baggage ensue as they ascend the Holy Mountain to displace the immortal gods who secretly rule the universe.

The Holy Mountain will be on exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art's PS1 Annex in Long Island City, New York beginning May 22, 2011. It will simultaneously be shown on multiple screens of varying shapes and sizes throughout the exhibition's run with visiting artists and filmmakers offering lectures and master classes on Jodorowsky and his cultural impact. The Chilean-born, Paris-based Jodorowsky will be in attendance at the exhibition's opening.

Special features include:
  • Feature commentary by Alejandro Jodorowsky
  • Deleted scenes with commentary by Alejandro Jodorowsky
  • The Holy Mountain restoration process
  • Photo gallery
  • Original script excerpts
  • Original theatrical trailer

Source: | Permalink | United States [Country settings]

News comments (9 comments)

Top reviewer
Top contributor
  Mar 04, 2011
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Can't wait to get El Topo and watch it in high definition. John Lennon tried to put it on in the main stream cinema, but it just didn't work that way. Was way better suited for a 'midnight movie'.
Snake in my Boots
  Mar 04, 2011
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Very excited. Deleted scenes? Yay. Neither MOMA nor PS1 website have info on holy mountain exhibit, though. Anyone got info? I'm making the pilgrimage!

Top contributor
  Mar 04, 2011
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Sounds Grrreat.
Just one thing: I assume the specs for "La montaņa sagrada" (The Holy Mountain) are wrong since the original language of this film is english not spanish. I am saying this because although the movie was shot in Mexico, it was released in english. Yet you can read (as I write this) as the audio specs for the coming soon BD:
Audio: Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish LPCM 2.0.
It gotta be a goof. Hope the specs gets fixed soon.
In the other hand "El Topo" original audio is indeed spanish. No probs here.

Top contributor
  Mar 04, 2011
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Octavio, i corrected the mistake.

Top contributor
  Mar 04, 2011
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Jompa: Thanx for correcting the info. Keep up the good work.

Top contributor
  Mar 05, 2011
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It`s ok. I like to contribute here.

  Mar 05, 2011
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I'm definitely looking forward to these...

Top contributor
  Mar 05, 2011
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Really can't wait... essential films in my opinion and should be stunning on blu!
Snake in my Boots
  Mar 06, 2011
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Is there a source for the moma ps1 event? There is nada on the website...

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