The Dance of Reality (2014)

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for the fucking clowns

Take a Drink: whenever Jodorowsky himself (whitebeard) shows up

Take a Drink: “Maricon!”

Take a Drink: for fucking opera singing and bizarre musical numbers

Take a Drink: for pseudo-religious bloviating

Take a Drink: for blank people masks

Do a Shot: for dicks

Do a Shot: whenever Freud would have a field day with a scene

Community Review

How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: Henry J. Fromage (Four Beers) –

My first experience with Alejandro Jodorowsky was watching his 70s cult film classics El Topo and The Holy Mountain, both visually stunning psychological clusterfucks that certainly kept your attention, even if they felt too intensely introspective to make a lick of sense to anybody but Jodorowsky.  He re-entered the public consciousness this year with the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, an ode to his failed, but incredibly imaginative adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune that went on to influence practically every major sci-fi classic that followed it.

HRGIGERALIEN

You can personally thank him for a lifetime of nightmares.

Also debuting this year, in part due to Jodorowsky and longtime producer Michel Seydoux being reunited by that documentary, is Jodorowsky’s first film in 23 years, The Dance of Reality.  It’s (very) loosely based on his childhood in Chile with his stern father (played by his own son, Brontis), who decides to assassinate the dictator of Chile and loses touch with his family for touch before finally making his amends.

A Toast

Jodorowsky films are always chock full of ideas, and in The Dance of Realityas always, the visual ones are the most compelling.  Nobody can produce absurd, strikingly color-coded imagery quite like this old master, and he manages quite a bit of it during this film’s runtime.

the-dance-of-reality

Just slap that up on your wall.

Jodorowsky’s Dune also showcased his wonderful sense of humor- like the cheeky, profane story-filled Grandpa I never had, and that shines through here in this film’s best moments.  Also, while it really struggles to find its feet at first, during the home stretch The Dance of Reality finally starts to engage with its audience through Brontis’s strange, sad odyssey, building up to a surprisingly affecting finale.

Beer Two

The problem is, it takes too damn long to get to that point.  The first half of the film feels like Jodorowsky throwing out every pseudo-philosophical tic and outrageous idea he’s been building up for the last couple of decades, a cacophonous, unfocused, and often cheaply provocative (a group of amputees gets kicked around, the mother’s full-frontal unsimulated pissing on the father’s chest) slog that often feels like just an echo of his more engagingly bizarre and challenging early-career work.

Nicole-Kidman-Daily-Shotgun

Nice try, Nicole Kidman.

Beer Three

The humor is also often of the least common denominator, cringe-inducing variety.  Besides playing homosexuality, dwarfism, and transvestism for laughs occasionally, plus scenes like the amputees where it’s unclear whether he’s trying for comedy, you have just blatantly stupid jokes like the buxom mother singing all of her own dialogue opera-style, even during sex.  Pro-tip: if it’s a trashy or stupid joke when Adam Sandler does it, it’s still trashy and stupid when an arthouse director does.

Beer Four

While Jodorowsky certainly manages some eye-catching images, much of the digital photography is surprisingly ugly.  Worse are the Sharknado-level CGI and green-screening.

Verdict

The Dance of Reality is a bizarre, scattershot, sometimes exasperating, and often visually stunning work of nostalgic reflection from a filmmaker we haven’t heard from for far too long.

a4Beers

Last Call: Stick around for one more scene of sales dwarves and faceless peons.

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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