7.5/10
7,740
22 user 106 critic

The Dance of Reality (2013)

La Danza de la Realidad (original title)
Trailer
1:24 | Trailer
In a Chilean little town, the son of an uprooted couple, formed by a rigorous communist father and a loving but weak mother, tries to pave his own path in a society that does not understand their Jewish-Ukrainian origins.

Writer:

Alejandro Jodorowsky (screenplay)
4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brontis Jodorowsky ... Jaime / Father
Pamela Flores Pamela Flores ... Sara / Mother
Jeremias Herskovits Jeremias Herskovits ... Alejandro / child
Alejandro Jodorowsky ... Self
Bastián Bodenhöfer Bastián Bodenhöfer ... General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo
Andres Cox Andres Cox ... Don Aquiles
Adan Jodorowsky ... Anarchist
Axel Jodorowsky ... Theosophist (as Cristobal Jodorowsky)
Alisarine Ducolomb Alisarine Ducolomb ... Jorobada (as Alizarine Ducolomb)
Sergio Vargas Sergio Vargas ... Carpintero
Patricio Bambrilla Patricio Bambrilla ... Propagandista
Juan Quezada Juan Quezada ... Pastor Evangélico
Adrián Salgado Adrián Salgado ... Payaso Lechuga / Guatón González
Eugenio Morales Eugenio Morales ... Payaso Zanahoria
Italo Tai Italo Tai ... Payaso Piripipi / Dueño del Bar
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Storyline

In a nostalgic childhood memoir, the octogenarian director, Alejandro Jodorowsky, returns to the coastal Tocopilla, his hometown in the Chilean desert. Through illusion, dream-like sequences, mysticism, and New Age metaphors, Jodorowsky portrays vividly his loving mother and his authoritarian father who wanted to make a man out of him, recounting the days of innocence against the backdrop of an eccentric and intricate dance of reality. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's cast and crew feature a number of Alejandro Jodorowsky's family members. His son, Brontis Jodorowsky plays Jaime. Adan Jodorowsky plays the Anarchist, and composed the music for the film. Axel Jodorowsky plays Theosophist. Pascale Montandon-Jodorowsky, Alejandro's wife, designed the costumes for the film. Alejandro Jodorowsky directed, wrote, produced and portrayed himself in the film. See more »

Quotes

Alejandro as an Adult: [From film trailer] You and I, have only been memories, never reality. Something is dreaming us, surrender yourself to illusion. Live! Everything that you will become, you already are. What you search for, is already within you. Rejoice in your sufferings, thanks to them, you will reach me.
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Connections

Referenced in Jodorowsky's Dune (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Ostatnia moja milosc
Performed by Adam Aston
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User Reviews

 
THE DANCE OF REALITY (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 2013) ***
26 July 2014 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Anyone interested in cult movies must have heard of Chilean artist Alejandro Jodorowsky – even if, during his 57 year association with the cinema so far, he has only delivered two shorts and seven feature films. With my open-air viewing of his latest effort, I have now watched all of them…having just caught up with the quirky LA CRAVATE (1957), the irritating TEATRO SIN FIN (1965), the exotic adventure TUSK (1980) and even the engrossing feature-length documentary JODOROWSKY'S DUNE (2013). As things stand now, I can divide Jodorowosky's filmography into three symmetrical groups: admirable (EL TOPO {1970}, SANTA SANGRE {1989} and, happily, THE DANCE OF REALITY), enjoyable (LA CRAVATE, TUSK, THE RAINBOW THIEF {1990}) and loathsome (TEATRO SIN FIN, FANDO AND LIS {1968}, THE HOLY MOUNTAIN {1973})…

It is not an unknown occurrence in movies that a respected artist takes an inordinately long hiatus from the medium: David Lean, Sergio Leone and Stanley Kubrick are perhaps the most egregious examples…but Jodorowsky's 23 years is probably the lengthiest sabbatical yet! Although he had been threatening to make a sequel to EL TOPO for the last decade – his screenplay of THE SONS OF EL TOPO was even glimpsed sitting on the man's shelves in the aforementioned "Dune" documentary! – it is perhaps unsurprising that it took the now-85-year-old Jodorowsky's most personal project, an adaptation of his own autobiography, to lure him back to the cinema (even if that only came about as a result of a reteaming with his DUNE producer Michel Seydoux). Equally plausible is the fact that, for a man with such a long and varied career, one film would not be enough to tell his whole life-story and, as his young son Adan said in the Q&A which followed the film's screening, Alejandro is currently working on the second installment! I, for one, am looking forward to it…

In keeping with the autobiographical nature of the film, his oldest son Brontis (who played the child in EL TOPO) has the lead role here of Jodorowsky's strict businessman father, Cristobal plays a Buddhist mystic who runs around practically naked, Adan plays a long-haired, bespectacled anarchist and Alejandro himself appears as the ruminating guardian angel of his put-upon younger self! Although I would be the first one to admit that I much prefer the Luis Buñuel brand of Surrealism rather than the self-indulgent obscurantist style propagated by the likes of Federico Fellini, Fernando Arrabal (Jodorowsky's own partner in his "Panic" movement days) and David Lynch (the director who ultimately brought DUNE to the big-screen, albeit disastrously, in 1984!), I have to say that sitting through the not unsubstantial 130-minute duration of THE DANCE OF REALITY made me realize that even Jodorowsky's most outre' ideas in his previous films might well have had their seeds in his troubled childhood in the desert Chilean village of Tocopilla.

The film can be roughly divided into three segments: the first part concentrates on the boy's physical and mental abuse at the hands of his Ukranian-Jewish father (including vignettes involving red shoes and the fire brigade); the second on the father's ineffectual political activities (including an amusing failed assassination attempt at a best-dressed dog contest and a lengthy episode as the Chilean dictator's horse groomer); and, finally, the prodigal father's return homeward (after suffering from a bout of amnesia following much torture at the hands of the tyrannical regime). The father (incidentally, Brontis' appearance here turns him into a virtual dead ringer for Hollywood actor Peter Sarsgaard!) had been a circus performer and is portrayed as a staunch atheistic Communist, the mother only communicates in operatic arias and the young boy is seen sporting a blonde wig at the latter's insistence (in emulation of her own father's mane) and the former's chagrin. While berating his son for looking effeminate and mingling with the local mystics and mutilated soldiers-turned-paupers, Jodorowsky Sr. is shown consorting with whores, transvestites and political subversives in his weekly night-time trysts to the local tavern.

As can be gleaned from a cursory glance at the storyline and as was to be expected from this director, despite the reflective and occasionally even pastoral mood that permeates the proceedings, the film cannot fail but include a surfeit of full-frontal nudity which result in a couple of strong scenes: both father and mother get to shed their clothes but, instead of using it during scenes of sexual activity, the elder Jodorowsky shows his father being humiliated and tortured, himself as a young boy being comforted by his stark-naked, big-breasted mum and the latter miraculously healing her leprosy–stricken husband by urinating on him!! In such a godless environment (where religious relics are dumped into the toilet bowl), even horses can become objects of desire as the Chilean leader is depicted metaphorically having a virtual orgasm while astride his white-maned Bucephalus and, consequently, it is the latter who gets poisoned instead of its owner who is in turn devastated by the loss! The director's typically skewed sense of humour, then, is evident in the recurring presence of a midget barker, forever donning outlandish costumes, in an attempt to draw crowds to Jodorowsky's lingerie shop - but which are mostly unappreciated by his irascible employer!

While the occasional longueur does make itself felt (particularly during the second half), the film moves at a surprisingly breezy pace thanks to a compelling narrative and one is certainly thankful for it – especially considering the feature film started screening at around 10:00 p.m.! Jodorowsky's visual artistry is as sharp as ever and one barely realizes that the movie was shot on digital. Adan Jodorowsky's score is definitely an asset and, when asked about what inspired him to write it during the following Q&A session, he mentioned not just his father's self-penned music for EL TOPO and THE HOLY MOUNTAIN but also the works of legendary film composer Bernard Herrmann!


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Details

Country:

Chile | France

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

4 September 2013 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dance of Reality See more »

Filming Locations:

Santiago, Chile See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,768, 25 May 2014

Gross USA:

$293,680

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$558,636
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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