Published On: Mon, Aug 17th, 2015

The Dance of Reality

Dazzling and heartfelt autobiopic from Chilean auteur Alejandro Jodorowsky.

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Described by its director as a ‘mental atom bomb’ and form of family therapy (it features three of his sons), The Dance of Reality is counter-culture icon Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s seventh feature in a career spanning nearly 60 years. Best known for his genre subversions – western El Topo, slasher Santa Sangre – this time he plumps for an imagination-fused autobiopic. He presents a warped version of reality, fashioned from memory, elevated by fantasy, and unfolding like a dream.

This passionately personal project combines telenovela-style melodrama, operatic outbursts, political upheaval, and lashings of surreal humour. It begins in Tocopilla, Chile, home of the young Alejandro (Jeremias Herskovits), who suffers various cruelties and indignities at the hands of his brutal communist father Jaime (Brontis Jodorowsky): his mane of girly hair is shorn; he’s forced to endure dentistry without anaesthetic; and becomes the mascot to the local fire brigade, after the death of their dog, where he’s pressed into confronting a charred corpse. Touchingly, the director appears in person to impart his wisdom and to offer, much needed, comfort to his younger self.

Read the full story at Film.List by Emma Simmonds

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