Saturday, 18 March 2017
Full review on Starburst.
Film is often described as a collaborative medium, but if there ever was one movie that could be described as authored – the work of one artistic mind – it’s Endless Poetry. Not only does it show off Alejandro Jodorowsky’s style at its most bizarre, but it’s also about the surrealist filmmaker’s own life, following 2013’s The Dance of Reality as the second part of an autobiographical trilogy.
The young Alejandro leaves his family behind to join a bohemian community of artists in Santiago, Chile’s capital. Across the 1940s and ‘50s, this eclectic bunch frequent bars way into the early hours, improvise poetry at each other, and have a raucous time being abrasively avant-garde. The astonishingly weird story isn’t afraid to depict its characters in unusual ways – Alejandro’s mother sings all of her dialogue in an operatic style – or to go off on narrative tangents – at one point, he decides almost spontaneously to become a clown.
But all of this is carefully composed to capture both the vivid and extraordinary life of this cultural scene and this important period in Alejandro’s life, with the overall tone being that of a director looking back fondly but analytically on his past. The concept has potential to become indulgent or patronising, but instead Jodorowsky presents it with a sense of humour and a deftness of touch.
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