The Dance of Reality (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Dance of Reality (2014)



Critic Consensus: This long-overdue return from Alejandro Jodorowsky finds him just as overflowing with imagination -- and heart -- as fans have come to expect.

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Produced and directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, THE DANCE OF REALITY is his first film in 23 years. The legendary filmmaker was born in 1929 in Tocopilla, a coastal town on the edge of the Chilean desert where the film was shot. It was there that Jodorowsky underwent an unhappy and alienated childhood as part of an uprooted family. Blending his personal history with metaphor, mythology and poetry, The Dance of Reality reflects Alejandro Jodorowsky's philosophy that reality is not objective but rather a "dance" created by our own imaginations.(c) Official Site

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Jeremias Herskowits
as Alejandro as a Child
Alejandro Jodorowsky
as Alejandro as an Adult
Adan Jodorowsky
as Anarchist
Axel Jodorowsky
as Theosophist
Andres Cox
as Don Aquiles
Bastián Bodenhöfer
as Carlos Ibáñez
Sergio Vargas
as Carpenter
Juan Quezada
as Evangelical Pastor
Adrián Salgado
as Lettuce Clown
Eugenio Morales
as Carrot Clown
Italo Tai
as Piripipi Payaso/Bar Owner
Luz Jiminez
as Queen of Cups
Charles Bustos
as The Bumblebee
Jorge Hugo Marin
as Ice Cream Man
Rodrigo Orellana
as Lieutenant Cuevas
Demetrio Spataris
as Professor Toro
Veronic Power
as The Toña
Nicolas Deteran
as Skinny Jara
Sergio Monge
as One Eye Valdivia
Victor Toledo
as Comrade Fierro
Ricardo Zepeda
as Captain Fedraza
T. Tomas Alvarez III
as Carlitos Y Luchito
Luis Izquierdo
as Mocking Firefighter
Patricia Jara
as Mocking Firefighter
Dagoberto Nuco
as Mocking Firefighter
Eduardo Pérez
as Municipal Worker
Nelson Rojas
as Chief Miner
Cristobal Valderrama
as Tarantula Priest
Marcelo Alonso
as Lead Nazi
Sebastian Layseca
as Nazi Spokesman
Andres Skoknic
as Lead Torturer
Gastón Pauls
as Liberator 1
Cosmo Gonik
as Liberator 2
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Critic Reviews for The Dance of Reality

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (23)

Say this about the godfather of midnight movies, Alejandro Jodorowsky: He loves a parade and he puts on a doozy

Full Review… | December 8, 2014
Orange County Register
Top Critic

A lot of the film doesn't quite click, either as dream imagery or something more conventional. But there's a spirit and a yearning in it that's undeniable and bracing.

December 8, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The loony-goony visuals are still in play, but there's a sympathy for the audience, a desire to put things to good and even meaningful use.

Full Review… | June 20, 2014
San Diego Reader
Top Critic

Part of the dance in "The Dance of Reality" is between one's own destiny and uncontrollable forces.

June 19, 2014
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The Dance of Reality, which deserves a place alongside Amarcord as a fantastical take on coming of age, is the work of a wise and experienced old soul with the passion and curiosity of a young man.

Full Review… | June 6, 2014
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Jodorowsky's images can be stunning, and his ability to acknowledge pain without being depressing is a rare gift. The film is a wayward dream but well worth embracing.

Full Review… | June 5, 2014
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Dance of Reality

The Dance of Reality - A Surrealist Salute to Life The Dance of Reality Trailer "You and I have only been memories- never reality. Something is dreaming us. Give yourself to the illusion. Live! Everything you are going to be, you already are. What you are looking for, is already within you. Rejoice in your sufferings. Thanks to them, you will reach me." - 'The Dance of Reality', Alejandro Jodorowsky Those words spoken from that soothing accented voice, nearly brings me to tears as I hear them. Self affirming sentiments often seen in internet memes today never seem as powerful except when spoken by the artist visionary Alejandro Jodorowsky. Being the director's first film of 23 years, it is a true testament to the soul sucking, money hunger that is film financing in the current industry as it was and has always been a struggle for Jodorowsky to find funding for his controversial cinematic masterpieces. As one of 1931 Production's most anticipated films of 2014, THE DANCE OF REALITY (La Danza de la Realidad) left us dazzled, filling our hearts with wonder and joy at this coming of age, politically fired, sexually charged, mesmorizingly violent, religious doused experience of a story. Reminiscent of Tim Burton's BIG FISH, through wildly fantastical stories Jodorowsky recounts his father's journey to developing a loving and accepting heart while also semi-autobiographically re-telling the beauty and horrors of his own childhood growing up in a small ocean side town in Chile. Although this is his most accessible film, it does not lack the depth and metaphor present in all his other works. It is an absurd poem dedicated to the exploration of both the miracles and sorrows in living, and like Jodorowsky's tyrant father, life can be simultaneously cruel and giving, making it not an enigma to understand but rather a moment to savor for it is all but an illusion we should give ourselves wholeheartedly to. The film, while denouncing God existence, also presents an enchanted world where belief in God does not simply lead to being slave to a particular religious sect, but imagines life where all things are possible through devout Faith and that love is universal and all encompassing. It presents two options through the characterization of his polar opposite parents who share passion in totally separate ideologies. While his father condemns the idea of God, "we die, and then we rot", his empathetic mother embraces the belief in a power greater than logic. Through her conviction she possesses a mysticism that makes possible the impossible, and poses the choice of believing in a world of imagination, fascination and love, or like his father's path, choosing the burden of the cynic and to live without compassion. It widdles down religion to something simple, that in a unpredictable world in which our own journey is defined by our individual perceptions, we can choose to either believe in magic or not. It makes me want to believe in the magic of God, because the other option feels so empty in comparison. THE DANCE OF REALITY is an exquisitely beautiful portrayal of what it means to live. Jodorowsky melds together time and space as he weaves a dreamscape in which the influential characters of his and his father's life live on to tell their stories. Like, BIG FISH they all stand at the edge of the water as a symbol of the departure from the life he once knew. He freely embellishes on his memories while presenting the notion that reality is in itself completely subjective to the individual perceiving it. Some may find that his works are too difficult to grasp, but they are more like poetic moving images meant to baptize you with universal truth and meaning in its philosophical symbolism. With a family overflowing with talent best known for the Coppolas, Alejandro Jodorowsky utilizes his sons for his films in ways welcomingly challenging traditional American parental ethics. The use of nudity by not only his actors but his children throughout his films as well present layers of statement about the human body and it's power through and beyond sexuality. Brontis is a force to behold as he plays his own grandfather in the film, and Adan Jodorowsky has a role as well as creating the hauntingly beautiful score. Axel Jodorowsky plays a Theosophist who introduces young Jodorowsky to the spirit of acceptance and love in religion. Alejandro plays an omnipresent figure of his present self who lovingly nurtures the young and lost Alejandro featured in the film. It is a metaphor for the faith one has in themselves, and speaking as a spiritual guide with a wisdom gained by time and experience, he reassures his past self that all things have meaning and that ultimately it will work out the way the way it should. As he says in HOLY MOUNTAIN, "Now you are an open heart, open to receive your true essence your ultimate perfection. Your new body, which is the universe, the work of god. You will be born again, you will be real. You will be your own father, your own mother, your own child, your own perfection." If this film is still playing in theaters near you, I desperately urge you to see it-- to not only support a true artist of our lifetime who has unjustifiably struggled to make important art for humanity, but to give yourself a chance to open your heart and mind to the fantastic. "I don't want to make industrial films to earn money, to make a living. I want to make films to lose money, films that oblige me to search employment in other creations. The cinema to me is sacred. It must be of service to something, to open our consciousness, to unite us to the past, present and future, to save the world. Of course, we cannot change the world, but we can start to change it. Don't ask me to present my film. All beings are infinite, my film is a being, it speaks for itself. I give you my honesty, my truth, this limited coffin where my infinite soul resides." - Alejandro Jodorowsky The Dance of Reality featurette: Read more film reviews:

Nadia Robertson
Nadia Robertson

Many filmmakers have made movies about their childhoods, but none of them are Alejandro Jodorowsky. After a near 25 years absence, the cult director returns to the screen with a parade of freakish imagery, outlandish politics, & unabashed passion for the peculiarities of life

Gordon Briggs
Gordon Briggs

Kind of self-biographic movie set in coastal Chile, oddities and Jodorowsky characters to its fullest extend. Some extraordinary visual shots, though it don't keep the steam to the core all the way. Needless to say his most normal film, if that's possible to state.

Anders Ask
Anders Ask

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