The Dance of Reality is an imaginary autobiography by director Alejandro Jodorowsky. It is his first movie in 23 years. His last release was The Rainbow Thief. Dance of Reality is a personal flick that features strange imagery and deliberate atonalities that he has known for.
The Dance of Reality comes from a more sincere place than in his previous movies that have made him popular in the 1970s midnight movie scene. This comeback would likely make the filmmaker’s life busy on the fest circuit.
Jodorowsky attributes his long hiatus to the difficulty in getting financing for his unusual projects, a couple of which were announced and then canceled in recent years. The Dance of Reality is an ode to money. Gold pieces are seen falling down in slow motion while the director delivers a monologue that compares money to Christ, Buddha, blood, and almost everything else.
The Dance of Reality takes viewers to the director’s hometown of Tocopilla, which is located on the northern coast of Chile. The young Alejandro (Jeremias Herskovits) his father Jaime (played by Jodorowsky’s son Brontis) and mother Sara (Pamela Flores). She sings her dialogue in soprano.
Alejandro finds himself smothered by his mother’s affection and at the same time bullied by his father into becoming a real man. Alejandro goes out of the family nest whenever he can. He explores his hometown and encounters several people, including dwarfs, pierced and tattooed Theosophist, maimed mine workers, and a mysterious drunk who warns him about throwing stories into the sea.
The Dance of Reality is more than two hours that seems too long. It has several ideas and images that could have been part of another movie. The director’s ambitions are high but the movie is dragged down by the low-budget production values.
The Dance of Reality is a family affair. Jodorowsky’s son Adan made the score. His wife Pascale Montandon-Jodorowsky made the costumes used in the movie.