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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Holy Mountain [Blu-ray]

 

(Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1973)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: ABKCO Music and Records

Video: Anchor Bay Home Video

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:56:28.843

Disc Size: 39,629,564,947 bytes

Feature Size: 33,667,620,864 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.26 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 26th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3335 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3335 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio Spanish 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Audio commentary from Alejandro Jodorowsky (in Spanish with English subtitles)

Deleted Scenes with commentary by Alejandro Jodorowsky (5:41 in 1080i)

The Tarot with commentary by Alejandro Jodorowsky (7:53 in 1080i)

Restoration Process (5:32 in 1080i)

• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:28 in 1080i)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The scandal of the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, writer/director Alejandro Jodorowsky's flood of sacrilegious imagery and existential symbolism 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 wordly 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.

***

A Christlike figure wanders through bizarre, grotesque scenarios filled with religious and sacrilegious imagery. He meets a mystical guide who introduces him to seven wealthy and powerful individuals, each representing a planet in the solar system. These seven, along with the protagonist, the guide and the guide's assistant, divest themselves of their worldly goods and form a group of nine who will seek out the Holy Mountain, in order to displace the gods who live there and become immortal.

 

 

The Film:

There are places in "The Holy Mountain" — a lot of places, in fact — where Jodorowsky's 1973 surreal fantasy is just too much to dig through.

Also, scenes of animal cruelty, frank sexuality and religious skepticism make this one for only the most broad-minded audiences.

As with Jodorowsky's other films, "Holy Mountain" is filled with material that's both sacred and profane. Symbolism and allegories, both religious and metaphysical, dominate. Clearly this was conceived under the influence of something — be it legal or illegal.

Excerpt from Jeff Vice Deseret News located HERE

The result is a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours, free-floating archetypes and picaresque episodes, all packaged to disorient and confound us with its sheer exuberance, before finally bringing us right back to exactly who we are and what it is that we are seeing. It is a film of exquisite beauty, shocking power, delirious intellect and wicked humour. So turn on, tune in, drop out, and see for yourself the ultimate road movie. It may not bring you any closer to God, but it will certainly initiate you into the strange, wonderful cult of Jodorowsky.

Excerpt from Anton Bitel at Eye For Film located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Like El Topo - The Holy Mountain on Blu-ray from Anchor Bay is a significant improvement over previous digital editions. If there is any digital noise reduction it is minimal and colors and detail seem the most notable superiority over SD. Skin tones are much more realistic in 1080P. This is dual-layered with a bitrate over 28 Mbps - the 2 hour feature taking up over 33 Gig of space. It is not always the most consistent appearance but I do feel it is authentic. The image remains quite flat but I also feel this is brighter and has less artefacts than the last DVD visuals. Overall I am quite pleased with the tighter presentation that the Blu-ray provides. I think fans should be quite happy with the HD video rendering. 

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Raro - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Anchor Bay - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Anchor Bay - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Raro - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Anchor Bay - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Anchor Bay - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is capably transferred via a DTS-HD 5.1 at 3335 kbps. The film doesn't offer an abundance of depth or separation - but what is boosted adds some spice to the soundstage. Also available is a choice for linear PCM 2.0 channel that just seems less buoyant but is probably faithfully represented. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Same extras as found on the last Anchor Bay The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky DVD set including the interesting audio commentary from Alejandro Jodorowsky (in Spanish with English subtitles), 5.5 minutes of deleted scenes with commentary by Jodorowsky (this may be new - I don't recall seeing before), the 7-minute long The Tarot also with commentary by the director discussing his interest in the title topic, a brief split-screen restoration demonstration and the original theatrical trailer - all video supplements are in 1080i.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
One can approach The Holy Mountain in a variety of ways - from seeing it as dense and impenetrable to viewing it as amusing and enlightening. Graphically it can shock and disturb the more sensitive but the work as a whole can't be anything but... fascinating. I don't doubt that the transfer is the best we are likely to ever have and Jodorowsky fans will definitely want to indulge in this Blu-ray

Gary Tooze

April 20th, 2011

 


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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