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.
A former circus artist escapes from a mental hospital to rejoin his armless mother - the leader of a strange religious cult - and is forced to enact brutal murders in her name as he becomes "her arms".
Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in 1929 in Tocopilla, a coastal town on the edge of the Chilean desert where this film was shot. It was there that Jodorowsky underwent an unhappy and alienated childhood as part of an uprooted family. Blending his personal history with metaphor, mythology and poetry, The Dance of Reality reflects Jodorowsky's philosophy that reality is not objective but rather a "dance" created by our own imaginations.Written by
Alejandro as an Adult:
Money is like blood. It gives life if it flows. Money is like Christ. It blesses you if you share it. Money is like Buddha, if you don't work, you don't get it. Money enlightens those who use it, to open the flower of the world, And damns those who glorify it, confounding riches with the soul.
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One of Jodorowsky's best works, perhaps even THE best!
Jodorowsky's works have been a part of my life since I first started venturing into the grown up section of my local public library (here in Denmark) in the early 1980s and discovered the "Incal" comics he was doing with Moebius at that time.
I gotta admit I'm not always convinced. "The Incal" is a wonderful comics classic, but some of his later (serialised) books seem to fizzle out to nothing after they've taken years to complete. They've given me quite a bit of frustration - and the reviewers in the comics press often seem equally frustrated.
I bought his return to movie making "Santa Sangre" when it was first released on VHS back around 1990. And I love this movie! It's in my opinion completely coherent and satisfying, and I've seen it many times.
The long awaited DVD box-set of his older 1970s work was a bit of a disappointment. Some good scenes in the movies, but also a lot of semi- amateurish wannabe-spiritual 1970s-style hippie-rambling. The best part of the box was the very enjoyable documentary "La constellation Jodorowsky", which you might be able to find on you-tube with a bit of luck.
But as for his new movie: It's good. VERY good. Possibly even better than "Santa Sangre". In some ways it seems like a remake of "El Topo", except without the western-trappings and based more closely on his own childhood. The main character (Jodorowsky's father) undergoes much the same transformation as El Topo, but the narrative is much more coherent and gripping. I was lucky enough to attend a screening with Jodo's son (who played El Topo's son, and plays Jodo's father in this movie), and while I was mesmerized by the movie even before listening to Brontis Jodorowsky - who is a funny, cool and sensible down-to-earth guy - the information he gave me made me appreciate it even more.
Basically the first part of the movie is a magical realist version of Jodo's childhood. But then the 'psycho magic' therapy that Jodo practices (in his second career as a kind of Tarot-card - or whatever - therapist) starts to play a part, and the movie becomes a kind of exorcism of the hard asshole'ish macho-part of his dictatorial father - the movie gives the father-character the journey of learning he never had in real life, making him a better wiser man that real-life Jodorowsky is able to make (symbolic) peace with. Anyway, this may sound like a lot of nonsense, but it made a lot of sense when Brontis Jodorowsky talked about it, and it makes for a compelling movie, even without the background information. It's as good as any Fellini-meets-Latin- American-Magical-Realism-movie could ever hope to be.
Basically I'm just happy that Jodo has now made two movies and one graphic novel ("The Incal") that I'm able to embrace and enjoy 100%.
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