Jodorowsky’s Endless Poetry

I’m never here to tell you what to think. That’s a foolish endeavor, and not least of the reasons why is that it assumes I have access to better, and more complete information than you. That isn’t to say that I have no agendas. The primary agenda is always to celebrate stuff I think is worthy- sometimes by contrasting to what I think isn’t worthy.  However, I’m not susceptible to the lit-crit bullshit that I know better than you. I mean, I enjoyed stuff on the first go-round that I later despised. I think that immediately calls me into question- two quick examples: I liked Zombieland until the thought that it is a thinly-veiled apologia for the alt right, and a defense for racist paranoia got stuck in my mind. I liked Die Antwoord until it became obvious that their idea of “otherness” is just a NAMBLA defense of pedo racism.  So, doubting me is healthy, and heck, I do it all the time.

So, my unabashed love for Alejandro Jodorowsky doesn’t need to be shared by you. I am content to enjoy his movies on my own. His brand of surrealism is intensely, intimately personal, anyway. What you take away from his art is meant just for you.

I have seen and loved most of his movies. This is despite, and sometimes, exactly because of his flaws. I mean, if nothing else, his sexuality is some messed up stuff, Maynard, and he is prone to superstition and the arrogance that goes with it.

However, just getting the opportunity to see his works can be daunting- so, some of the joy in actually seeing it is in having that opportunity. You get that rush of finding the obscure, the occult, the hidden every time.

Given his age, and how much he goes against the grain, “Endless Poetry” may very well be the end cap. I think he knows this, and knows exactly how obscure he is- so this is easily his warmest, most accessible, most friendly work, so if you’re going to give him a shot, this is the one to take. It’s a very poetic, very surreal, very self aware autobiography of his time growing up in Chile from 1929-1952. That’s a thing to be aware of- this isn’t a “portrait of the artist as a young man”- it’s his boyhood. That he was precocious, and obviously hyper intelligent might sway you into thinking he’s talking about after his age of majority. Dude was a published poet, popular circus clown, accomplished mime, theater owner and director, and a playwright by the age of 21.  So, for “plot”- this is not very linear- just imagine being a crazed adolescent artist looking back 60 years into the past, and what your impressions might be.

As for the actual construction of the film- well the cinematography is by Chris Doyle- of Chungking Express, Liberty Heights, Hero, 2046 and Limits of Control fame. So, yeah top notch. The only area of concern is the acting- for several reasons many, many of the actors are members of Jodorowsky’s own family, with mixed results.

So, it really comes down to taste. Much more so than with stuff you’ll read about. Hence, to be transparent, is why I am using the format I have, here. It’s honestly down to taste, and I don’t think I have the right to dictate taste to you. I like it, and you can make up your own mind from there.

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