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Jodorowsky Films to Blu-ray 4/26

By admin Published: March 2, 2011

"El Topo" and "The Holy Mountain" will have an MSRP of $34.99 each. The official word: El Topo and The Holy Mountain, the ground-breaking cult classics from director Alejandro Jodorowsky, are among the most sought-after film titles yet to be released on Blu-ray™. El Topo is credited with starting the Midnight Movie phenomenon more than 40 years ago. To this day, both films continuously screen at art houses, museums and film festivals throughout the world.

In 2006, following the restoration and remastering of both films to HD, El Topo and The Holy Mountain were shown in the Special Events section at the prestigious 44th Annual New York Film Festival. The films, originally made in the 1970’s in Mexico, were restored and remastered under the close supervision of Jodorowsky himself. That same year both films were featured in the Cannes Classics section of the Cannes International Film Festival. El Topo was screened before a black-tie audience at Salle Bunuel in the Palais des Festivals and The Holy Mountain was honored with the prized “Centerpiece Screening,” which was held for the first time ever on the beach at sundown.

Now, at long last and in response to requests from scores of Jodorowsky fans, ABKCO Films and Anchor Bay Entertainment will release El Topo and The Holy Mountain for the first time on Blu-ray™ in the United States on April 26th. The films have been remastered for their high-definition debuts and will include all the bonus features that were part of their DVD release four years ago. Suggested retail price for each is $34.99 . . .

(More, including extras details, after the jump.)

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.

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.

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.

***Alejandro Jodorowsky is available for advance interviews via phone in support of the launch of the Blu-ray™ editions of his most renowned films.

El Topo Tech Specs / Bonus Features

New HD transfer from original negative under the supervision of Alejandro Jodorowsky
Original Academy Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & PCM Stereo
Feature Commentary by Alejandro Jodorowsky
English feature dub track
On-Camera interview with Alejandro Jodorowsky
Original theatrical trailer
Photo Gallery
Original script excerpts
English, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese subtitles
The Holy Mountain Tech Specs / Bonus Features

New HD transfer from 2K scan from original 35mm negative under the supervision of Alejandro Jodorowsky
Original Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic)
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & PCM Stereo
Feature Commentary by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Original theatrical trailer
Deleted scenes with commentary by Alejandro Jodorowsky
The Holy Mountain restoration process
Photo Gallery
Original Script Excerpts
English, French, Spanish, Brazilian, Portuguese subtitles

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