Trying to sum up or attempt to describe an Alejandro Jodorowsky film is a tough ask, as the 89-year-old Chilean-French director, screenwriter, poet, actor, tarot-reader, musician, philosopher and master of the surreal arts crafts dizzying experiences as opposed to linear plots hampered by logic and narrative coherence. This second instalment in a planned autobiographical pentalogy, which follows on from 2013’s The Dance Of Reality, chronicles the creatively formative years of Alejandro (this time played by Adan Jodorowsky, the director’s youngest son) as he wrestles to leave his stern father behind, and settles in Santiago before moving to Paris. It’s a coming-of-age film that feels like a semi-lucid fever dream, bursting with joy and excessively bewildering flourishes. Its hallucinogenic spell boasts some gorgeous tableaus that are positively dripping with vibrant colours, courtesy of Christopher Doyle’s luscious and transportive photography. A carnival that includes skeletons, a Pierrot figure and bright red devils is particularly striking.
It all sounds impenetrable, terribly portentous and you may still be cringing at the use of the word ‘tableaus’, but Endless Poetry feels a lot more accessible than some of Jodorowsky’s previous offerings. If you’re in the mood for flights of fanciful escapism and a heaping great dose of Fellini-esque élans, this is one magical and mesmerising trip well worth taking.
Endless Poetry | Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky (Chile, France, 2016) with Adan Jodorowsky, Jeremias Herskovits, Pamela Flores. Starts July 19.
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