Live Theater Feel
We’d already been smitten by meeting the central character as wide-eyed boy and future poet (presumably filmmaker and artist Alejandro Jodorowsky) with a soprano mother who never talks but rather only sings her lines as arias. With the boy’s father, the threesome arrives in the city of another time, which we see being created in front of the lens as building-high scrolls are unwound to create a set. Crowds wearing dramatic masks stamp the scene with anomia. Then, the Nazis arrive and the crisp red surrounding their uniform swastikas visually pops. The set is complete, and the story of the boy’s unhappy childhood and brutal father can begin…
For those of us who sometimes experience film as relatively meh compared to the sizzle of the stage, Endless Poetry excites as live theater gone celluloid. More, seemingly served with a happy helping of magic mushrooms, it also catapults us to the big top, which filmmaker and one-time clown Jodorwsky seems able to do as easily as breathing in and out.
Storytelling Laced with Surreal
Jodorowsky’s biopic of sorts, Endless Poetry is on one level an homage to artistic drive, and also a coming of age and ultimate wisdom tale. Though the visuals are ever dazzling—from seemingly Magritte-inspired black and white ghoulish waitstaff in a trendy café to explosions of color and costumes in Carnival—storytelling is never shortchanged.
No conforming fascist he, young Jodorowsky breaks free of his unhappy home life to find joy in a Bohemian commune. Among others, his cohort includes a dancer always on pointe, a painter who makes Jackson Pollack look tame, a tattooed siren with long bozo red straight hair that Morticia might sport, and nearly every dwarf or midget in Chile who find roles big and small in this story.
Chileans will no doubt be taking in cultural references that escaped this viewer, as it likely will for other Americans. Have no worries, this doesn’t undercut your experience.
DIRECTOR - Alejandro Jodorowsky
Alejandro - Adan Jodorowsky
Jamie - Brontis Jodorowsky
Sara and Stella Dias Vann - Pamela Flores
Enrique Lihn - Lenadro Taub
Chicago Screenings will be held at the Siskel Film Center July 28 - August 3
For more information on nationwide screenings visit the Endless Poetry website.