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With: Adan Jodorowsky, Jeremias Herskovits, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, Pamela Flores, Leandro Taub, Julia Avendaño, Felipe Ríos, Carolyn Carlson, Bastián Bodenhofer, Felipe Peña
Written by: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Directed by: Alejandro Jodorowsky
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: Spanish, French, with English subtitles
Running Time: 128
Date: 07/21/2017

Endless Poetry (2017)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Rhyme Out of Mind

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The Chilean-born cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky follows up his autobiographical The Dance of Reality with another cinematic chapter of his own life story. And for whatever reason -- maybe the story was more compelling, or maybe I was in a better mood, or maybe Jodorowsky became more comfortable behind the camera -- I liked this one, Endless Poetry, a great deal more.

This one begins with Alejandro as a young man. When he catches thieves in his father's shop, his father beats and humiliates them, but they leave behind a book of poetry that sparks Alejandro's imagination. His father forbids any kind of career in the arts, but Alejandro stages a mini-revolution and leaves. He grows up among artists and poets and has several surreal adventures before confronting his father and leaving for Paris.

His mother still sings all her dialogue, and there are many striking, bizarre, and often funny images, from a Torah cigar box to a parade of red devils and dancing skeletons. There's a dreary cafe run by shuffling old men in tuxedos, and oversized chair, and a scene at the circus.

The 88 year-old Jodorowsky appears as himself, sometimes commenting upon or guiding the action, which is all to the better. As seen in interviews, he's a great speaker and an imaginative storyteller, and even if surrealism itself seems dated or dead today, he wages a valiant fight to keep it alive. Endless Poetry raises the possibility that artists young or old can still challenge barriers and ask questions about life.

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