Endless Poetry (Poesía Sin Fin)

Though well into his mid-80s, the Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky is still making vibrant, intriguing films. Endless Poetry is his latest, and the second in a planned autobiographical trilogy, the first being 2015’s The Dance Of Reality. The earlier film dealt with Jodorowsky’s childhood, and although I liked it, it was hard to really pin down at times; it’s an exaggerated, dreamlike vision of [Jodorowsky’s] own childhood experiences and a kind of pre-death statement of reckoning by the director, but the more bizarre, surreal passages left me a little bit perplexed. Not so this time round. Perhaps Endless Poetry is a touch more accessible and a little lighter on the weirdness, but many of the stranger elements are present and correct once again: Jodorowsky’s mother Sara (Pamela Flores, who also – confusingly – plays the poet Stella Díaz, the adult Alejandro’s lover in this film) still sings her lines; cardboard cut outs of people appear after they exit Jodorowosky’s life; stage-hand figures who are dressed head-to-toe in black suddenly appear and move props or the elements of the sets; and the director himself often appears in person, influencing events or providing commentary. In terms of the plot, this covers the years in which Jodorowsky left home as a teenager and fell in with a boho artistic community in Santiago, ending at the point he moved to France. Jodorowosky is mainly played here by his younger son Adan, while the director’s older son Brontis reprises his role as Alejandro’s father, Jaime (i.e. he is playing his grandfather). It’s really a lot of fun and I heartily recommend it but you definitely need to see The Dance Of Reality first. (****)