Monday, July 28, 2014

This Dream That One Calls Human Life...

The Dance of Reality (2013) - Jodorowsky
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Jodorowsky gives all with this self-reflexive masterpiece based on his childhood full of magic, dreams and melancholy. His father (played by his son, Brontis Jodorowsky, finally getting a hammy lead role he deserves), a Russian communist Jew transplant in Tocopillo, Chile, was a spartan atheist who was determined to make a man out of young, frail Alejandrito (Jeremias Herskovits). His buxom mother (Pamela Flores) who delivers all her lines in soprano was a believer and a saint. Jodorowsky runs wild with realizing his vision with the help of some unobtrusive CGI. You realize where his fantastic imagery and obsessions come from as you watch the film: circus folks, drag queens, sages, priests, vivrant colors, maimed limbs. But this time, they are not there for a mere shock value, but memorialized fondly as he reminisces them with great amplification. The film makes a big turn and we follow the father to Santiago as he tries to assassinate the military dictator Ibanez. He succeeds in earning the general's trust but fails at the opportunity as his hands are suddenly paralyzed. His odyssean journey back home is truly epochal.

If Woody Allen used humor to exorcise his childhood and Jewishness, Jodorowsky does with surrealism and weird freakishness. His sensibility comes from being a forever persecuted stranger commie Jew without a homeland. In this dream we called life, Jodorowsky is dreaming us, us playing part as audience. Who's dreaming Jodorowsky the filmmaker? Cinephiles of course. The Dance of Reality is his much softer, lyrical contemplation of life. One of the year's best.