Sunday, June 01, 2014

"The Dance of Reality": Jodorowsky gives us a fantasy about his boyhood in coastal Chile, and it's quite explicit


The Dance of Reality” (“La danza de la realidad”, 2013) is the new autobiographical film by 85-year old director Alejandro Jodorowsky, about his boyhood, mostly pre WWII, in the coastal town of Tocopilla, Chile. 
  
The film shows the elder Alejandro as himself, as a guardian angel, sometimes holding himself as a boy (Jeremias Herskovits), being raised by an authoritarian father (director’s son Brontis Jodorowsky), in a family of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants.  Dad espouses the authoritarianism of Josef Stalin and Soviet communism, as if it somehow could restore order to society and make things right.  The upcoming election for Ibanez, that will turn the country in a Nazi direction.   There’s a bar scene where men try to sing the Communist national anthem, a cappella, badly.  

The film is really a fantasy trip.  The town is shown in garish colors, yet with the squalor of a David Lynch movie.  The characters seem like clowns, their bodies often painted, and some of them are without various limbs.  Dad gets after the boy for scratching the back of a man with no hands.  The visual contrast is augmented by scenes of pilgrims carrying umbrellas high in the barren Andes.

Mama Sera (Pamela Flores), besides looking absurdly buxomy, sings her roles, as in an opera, often to a particular melody from Bach’s “Musical Offering”, but also some of it to music composed by the director.
The film becomes racy in the middle.  The father’s body gets abused, shall we say.  At one point, it’s covered with sores and Sera does a golden showers scene, on camera.  He recovers, but then later gets painted, and then undergoes Nazi torture – again, very much in the genitals, very much on camera.  This is all NC-17 stuff.  The actor (Brontis) is already in his early 50s himself, and his going downhill shows in a couple scenes.


The official site is here

I saw the film at Landmark E Street in Washington DC, before a small crowd in a large auditorium late Sunday afternoon.

There was a very long ad from Porsche, that amounted to a short film.  

Wikipedia attribution link for sky near a Chilian telescope. 

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