We’re kicking off our Cult Film Series with the 4k restoration of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s masterpiece, “The Holy Mountain.”

Fifty years ago, The Holy Mountain premiered as the scandal of the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. Writer/director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s flood of sacrilegious imagery and existential symbolism is a surreal sojourn for enlightenment pitting illusion against truth.

The Alchemist (Jodorowsky) assembles together an elite group of thieves – ‘industrialists and politicians’ – that represent the planets in the solar system. The master’s adept 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.

Following his meteoric rise in the wake of El Topo, Alejandro was given a budget of $1 million dollars (equivalent to $4 million today) and total artistic freedom for his follow up project. He wrote the screenplay, designed the sets and costumes, co-wrote the music, directed and acted in the film. He rejected using known or professional actors, and instead employed persons with actual backgrounds that matched their characters for many key roles.

The Holy Mountain is a mythical, mystical, magical masterpiece, a Hieronymus Bosch painting come to life – part spiritual quest, part science fiction, part social satire, and completely without comparison.