the mountain trailer

Would you let Jeff Goldblum give you a lobotomy? The answer is probably yes – he’s so charming! But in Rick Alverson‘s surreal new film The Mountain, Goldblum’s lobotomy practices are growing increasingly controversial. The actor plays a doctor in the 1950s, working with a young photographer (Tye Sheridan) on an asylum tour. Watch The Mountain trailer below.

The Mountain Trailer

Well, this sure looks…odd. The Mountain comes from director Rick Alverson – the filmmaker behind The Comedy and Entertainment, and this looks to be in line with those two films – at least tonally. Here’s the synopsis:

1950s America. Since his mother’s confinement to an institution, Andy has lived in the shadow of his stoic father. A family acquaintance, Dr. Wallace Fiennes, employs the introverted young man as a photographer to document an asylum tour advocating for his increasingly controversial lobotomy procedure. As the tour progresses and Andy witnesses the doctor’s career and life unravel, he begins to identify with the institutions’ patients. Arriving at a California mountain town, a growing center of the New Age movement, they encounter an unconventional French healer who requests a lobotomy for his own daughter, Susan.

In addition to Goldblum and Sheridan, The Mountain also features Hannah Gross, Denis Lavant, and Udo Kier. Alverson’s films are definitely an acquired taste, and I have a feeling The Mountain is going to be the type of movie that some people love and others hate with the fury of a thousand suns. And that’s fine! There’s nothing wrong with a little discourse surrounding challenging films. In fact, more often than not, that type of discourse can enhance a viewing experience, and make audiences delve deeper into what they’re watching.

“A lot of my films are anti-Utopian because they are a counterweight to an overabundance of hyperbolic positive messages in cinema and the media, particularly in the US, that are all aspirational, that present a narrative of unlimited potential and boundless opportunities, things that are really vital for societies that are deprived of resources and hope,” Alverson said. “In cultures like the US and Europe, with an amount of privilege and a disproportionate amount of the world’s wealth and wellbeing, using these utopian narratives constantly in cinema or media and entertainment, there’s a surplus of that. It’s dangerous; it disconnects us from the world’s limitations, the fact that limitations make up everything around us, that they let us comprehend the beauty of the world but also our place in it, and without them, we become disconnected from things, we don’t understand anymore. The idiocy in the US of government people denying the global warming is real is a byproduct of this complete disconnect from the actuality and physicality of the world. It’s the narrative that we are unbound by these constraints. The film is about constraints and limitations.”

Sounds about right.

The Mountain opens in New York and LA on July 26.

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