Call it a spiritual treatise, a visual masterpiece, or whatever you like — but Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 film, The Holy Mountain, has inspired musicians dating as far back as members of the Beatles, who played an instrumental role in funding and distributing the work.

In this timeline of artistic individuals inspired by The Holy Mountain, we work backwards from the present day to the year in which the film was born, passing many music videos, songs, and philosophical shout-outs along the way. The creation of this timeline began with the intention of finding commonalities between the individuals who value Jodorowsky’s works, but the trend that emerged was much more varied than expected. More than anything, this compilation highlights the fact that though Jodorowsky influences many artistically-experimental thinkers, how they are influenced can sometimes be surprising, and is often completely unrelated to the author’s original intention and beliefs.

NOTE: This is an ongoing article. We encourage submissions of other creative individuals inspired by this work, as well as suggestions for other timelines. Please send us an email at with any ideas.

The Holy Mountain – Opening Sequence


“One can probably divide all these Jodorowsky fans into thousands of different cultural similarities, but for us it’s never about that. We never create our music from a template such as pop, rock or even instrumental. Maybe the movie, or Jodorowsky as an artist, is inspiring for daring to really leave your creative and personal comfort zone. Like, really, really, really leaving it.” – Kriget

Kriget – “Holy Mountain”

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On their full-length Dystopico, Swedish avant-garde trio Kriget create a earth-bending mix of instrumental music with their combination of bass, drum, and saxophone. “Holy Mountain” samples a musical refrain from The Holy Mountain and sends it into droning, flickering, bass-heavy territories.

Questions answered by Kriget


Your track “Holy Mountain” is inspired by the film. How did that come about? Are there other ways in which the film has influenced your record or creative output?

First of all, it´s a fantastic movie — the theme in the song is influenced by the soundtrack and of course the name from the movie. The idea with our music is to open people’s minds towards music and arts, and if you scratch the surface you will see that there is more to it. And just like this movie, music doesn’t always have to be easy to understand; it’s supposed to challenge you.


What aspects of the film do you think are most striking to you? Aesthetics, philosophy, humor, etc.? Are there particular scenes which have made a lasting impact?

It’s the mix of all that, and like the Panic Movement proclaimed under their theater era, The Holy Mountain shows the audience what they don’t want to see — the unexpected — and if you mix that with things like fear, beauty and death you have the concept of “Holy Mountain”. It kind of visualizes the weirdness of life. The movie in itself can have a great impact on the viewer, but specifically one amazing scene is when the birds fly from the executed bodies. Like a delicate mix of cruelty and beauty.


The film is obviously an amazing visual treat; your music is very visually-evocative as well, and you have amazing music videos. Does the film at all influence your visual style or your visual interpretation of your music?

We’ve had the great pleasure to work with amazing artists on videos, like Moley Talhaoui (“Don’t Worry It Will Be Over Soon”), Marko Bandobranski (“Sleeping With Buddha”), Fredrik Joelson (“Holy Mountain”), Slobodan Zivic (“Submission”) and many more. It has always been a mutual creative understanding between us as a band and the great people that made our videos. The film as a visual masterpiece have probably not been that important for our visual presentation, but the mutual creative mindset between us and our collaborators has always been really important.


Compare Kriget’s “Holy Mountain” side-by-side with the song in the trailer for sonic similarities.


There seem to be artists that incorporate The Holy Mountain in a purely aesthetic way and others who apply more of a conceptual underpinning. What is your opinion on that?

The great thing about art is that you don’t really have to understand it. That’s the point. Sometimes people say that they don’t understand our music. That’s weird; it’s sounds of tones and rhythms. There are a lot of things that is hard to understand, like religion, wars and economy, but people tend not question that as much as art being constantly questioned. That is bothersome in some sense.


Before creating Holy Mountain, Jodorowksy employed methods of spiritual exercise, including Zen training, the teachings of Gurdjieff, and hallucinogens. Are you at all influenced by esoteric knowledge, psychedelics, rituals, etc.?

Yes, in an aesthetic way, it´s very exciting but it ends there. We are atheists and we believe that everything is possible, but you have to prove it first. Life is strange enough.


“I wouldn’t say the whole album is based off of the film, but it certainly inspired the title and structure. I like to get lost in my own train of thought while working on music. Sometimes it takes me to strange places; other times I end up where I started. Actually, most of the time my efforts don’t lead to anything! So naturally I have to be constantly working, sifting, shaping, transforming… It works out nicely, like a scavenging hunt out in the wild – eventually reeling in the big fish. The strangeness is what I associate with Jodorowsky’s films; they resonate with the unconscious.” – Úlfur Hansson

Ulfur & The Mountain Men –
White Mountain LP

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On the press release for White Mountain, Úlfur Hansson says, “The title is a homage to Rene Daumal’s Mount Analogue, as well as Alejandro Jodorowski’s film Holy Mountain, but also something else….Each individual sound has a very special memory attached to it, so the album creates these nostalgic nonexistent spaces, hidden places – an amalgamation of instances, situations that couldn’t possibly exist. I imagine this White Mountain, an invisible imaginary place – a sacred place on the horizon. Maybe like a connection to the the universe above. An analogy of the journey of Man.”

Questions answered by Úlfur Hansson


How/when did you first discover the film? How did it inspire this record – or other aspects of your creative output – and what led to it?

My friend Sigtryggur Berg (of Stilluppsteypa) used to run this video store in my neighbourhood. He is a notorious film buff and would always come up with great suggestions when I came by. One time he insisted I watched Santa Sangre, and soon after that I had seen the whole Jodorowsky catalogue.

At the time, my record White Mountain was nearing its completion, and being immersed in Jodorowsky’s work between mixing sessions, the title was a no-brainer. Most of my song titles come from looking up from my computer at the keels in my bookshelf.


Mount Analogue also played a role [on your record], and it is my understanding that The Holy Mountain is based off of Mount Analogue. How, if at all, did you separate these influences creatively or conceptually?

René Daumal’s Mount Analogue was mentioned a lot in Jodorowsky’s Psychomagic. He talked about the book being his main inspiration for The Holy Mountain, so I immediately sought it out at the local bookstore.

There was one idea in particular that intrigued me while reading the book – the idea of the peradam – a rare perfectly round crystal, its spherical crystallization made possible due to the warped space surrounding Mount Analogue. The fact that it’s perfectly round makes the peradam near invisible to the naked eye – so for those who seek it, it is extremely difficult to find.

However, every now and then someone’s gaze will drift mindlessly, and at just the right angle catch a glimpse of the brilliant refraction of sunlight emitting from the peradam. This would only be possible when you are not looking.

That, to me, is analogous to the way creativity works. Art surfaces when you aren’t trying to hard.


“There is found here, rarely on the lower slopes and more frequently as one ascends, a clear and extremely hard stone, spherical and of variable size. It is a true crystal and – an extraordinary instance entirely unknown elsewhere on this planet – a curved crystal. In the French spoken in Port o’Monkeys, this stone is called Peradam. [It may mean… ‘harder than diamond’, as is very much the case, or else ‘father of diamond’… or ‘Adam’s stone’, and have had some secret and profound role in determining the nature of man.] The stone is so perfectly transparent and its index of refraction so close to that of air in spite of the crystal’s great density, that the inexperienced eye barely perceives it. But to any person who seeks it with sincerity and out of true need, it reveals itself by a brilliant sparkle like that of a dewdrop.” — Rene Daumal, Mount Analogue


What aspects of the film do you think are most striking to you? Aesthetics, philosophy, humor, etc.? Are there particular scenes which have made a lasting impact?

The first scene is amazing. Kind of reminiscent of Matthew Barney’s work, even. I think this scene is a great example of the moments where Jodorowsky manages to capture the liminal: he can dance on the threshold of the grotesque yet beautiful; he can even capture something sublime and be funny at the same time. This also applies to Don Cherry’s contribution to the film, his music being very strange but not taking itself too seriously.


There seem to be artists that incorporate The Holy Mountain in a purely aesthetic way and others who apply more of a conceptual underpinning. What is your opinion on that?

I’m not sure it’s entirely possible to understand everything – if anything – about The Holy Mountain, and that’s what’s so intriguing about it! You can make up your own meaning, choose your own adventure. There is a lot of symbolism at work in the film, and symbols have the power to go beyond the meaning of words. Just like with occult studies, it’s important to formulate your own ideas on The Holy Mountain.