Contemporary World Cinema | 2016 | 128 minutes
Stranger Says: With this autobiographical film, Alejandro Jodorowsky, the surrealist genius behind El Topo and The Holy Mountain, has created the most accurate portrayal of a poet’s life in cinema history. When young Alejandro discovers a book of Federico García Lorca’s, he escapes his family’s house, becomes a poet, moves into a weird artist co-op, and physically ages only after having major life experiences. Every nonartist in Santiago de Chile, where the action takes place, is either a sleeping drone or a murderous pervert. Life in this world seems impossibly lonely until he meets a pink-haired woman warrior who kicks and spits at everyone she encounters. Equal parts goofy and gorgeous, violent and theatrical. Muy magnífico. Highly recommended. (RICH SMITH)
SIFF Says:Famed Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky delivers the second film in his proposed pentalogy of memoirs with Endless Poetry. This emotionally resonant entry takes place after the end of 2015’s Dance of Reality, with Alejandro (Adan Jodorowsky) as a young man beginning to realize his ambitions as an artist, and desperately trying to escape his father’s suffocating hold on his life. He flees his family home after declaring he wants to be a poet, and escapes to a bohemian artist commune in Santiago. Surrounding himself with all sorts of characters, including a constantly tiptoed ballerina, Alejandro is still yearning for a muse. He ends up meeting the voluptuous, red-haired, scowling goddess Stella (who, in a Freudian twist, is played by Pamela Flores, who also plays the role of his mother), and falls head over heels. The rest of the film is a phantasmagorical journey of his self-discovery, peppered with circus-like characters and dreamy backdrops, as well as moments of biting humor and deep melancholy, ending with a critical confrontation between father and son. Jodorowsky, who became a household name for midnight-moviegoers and art-house aficionados alike with his surrealist western El Topo in 1970, shows no sign of letting up in this intensely personal and whimsically grotesque account of his past.
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