27 October 2014

THE DANCE OF REALITY [/Slash Filmfestival 2014]


Original Title:
La danza de la realidad

Chile / France, 2013
Director: Alejandro Jodorovsky


One of my personally most anticipated movies of this year gladly turned out to be one of the absolute best ones, and IMO, it is also THE comeback of 2014: 23(!) years after his last feature "The Rainbow Thief (1990)", Alejandro Jodorowsky, probably Chile's greatest director of all time, finally returns with yet another masterpiece: "The Dance of Reality", a breathtaking return to his old form, an epic and very personal tale about Jodorowsky's childhood and his difficult family, a tale about love, family values, coming of age, heroism, patriotism and communism.

"The Dance of Reality" feels as if Jodorowsky has never been away from the world of cinema. He's still fully able to create images, scenes and sequences that no-one has ever seen or dared to create before. The movie speaks a cinematic language that feels like an updated version of Jodorowsky's works of the 70s, a "The Holy Mountain 2.0" with "Santa Sangre"-like insanity and slightly "El Topo"-esque atmosphere. At times, it feels more like an opera, not just because one of the main characters constantly communicates in opera arias (unbelievable performance by Pamela Flores who's constantly naked and performs the most impressive urinating-scene I've ever seen), but also because the whole buildup and setup feels a lot like classical European opera.

Next to the above-mentioned Flores, we get to see more really incredible performances by Brontis Jodorowsky (Alejandro's oldest son), child actor Jeremias Herskovits and Bastián Bodenhöfer. The music by Adan Jodorowsky (Alejandro's youngest son) is eargasmic, Jean-Marie Dreujou's ("Two Brothers") strikingly colorful photography is just marvellous and even though I'm not a fan
of lo-fi CGI, I have to admit that Jodorovsky's very first use of CGI is surprisingly well-looking. Some really cool visuals he wouldn't have been able to create with practical means.

I could tell you more about the arm- and legless freaks singing about dynamite, about skull-faced bystanders, shop-promoting dwarfs and horse-loving dictators, but... why should I? This is something you have to experience for yourself. Deciphering the work of Jodorowsky isn't easy, it's actually a tough piece of work, but it's worth it because it will blow you away like nothing you've ever seen. Climb "The Holy Mountain", drink la "Santa Sangre", or dance "The Dance of Reality"... if you do it right, it will change you and your view on cinema forever. I promise!


  1. What an incredible filmmaker. I'm glad he's back - and I need to get caught up with his cinematic craziness.


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