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How the Hare Krishna Movement Started 51 Years Ago in the East Village

A kirtan (collective chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra) at Washington Square Park.(© Kasper van Laarhoven)

If you’ve ever been to Union Square, you’ve seen them: They chant, drum; sometimes they even give you a free copy of their scripture. Hare Krishnas are often shrugged off as an urban oddity on par with clipboard people, but what lies behind those orange robes and endless mantras?

This Friday, June 16, Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It will premiere at Village East Cinema. The documentary tells the story of Srila Prabhupada, a disheveled 70-year-old Hindu who boarded a freighter to the U.S. in August 1965 with little more than three self-translated religious texts and instructions from his guru to “offer spiritual wisdom to the people of the world.”

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Careful, Don’t Trip When You Run to IFC Center to See The Holy Mountain

The flame-throwing guitar in Mad Max: Fury Road was cool and all, but it wasn’t cinema’s first weaponized six-string. That distinction may well belong to the one in The Holy Mountain. If you don’t remember it (it appears at the 1:04 mark in the trailer above), it’s probably because there’s just that much batshit stuff going on in Alejandro Jodorwosky’s surrealist masterpiece. You’re more likely to remember the “sanctuary of 1,000 testicles,” or the “love machine” that makes Woody Allen’s Orgasmatron look like a pocket vibe (what’s with movies released in 1973 and sex machines?). Or the bloody battle between frogs and chameleons dressed in Aztec and Conquistador outfits.

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