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Last night I saw Alejandro Jodorowsky’s latest cinematic venture, The Dance of Reality at the Forum Theatre as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival(MIFF). It has been 24 years since Santa Sangre haemorrhaged onto the big screen and in that time the maestro has mellowed considerably.

The Dance of Reality deals with Jodoworsky’s childhood in Chile and in particular his relationship with his overbearing and somewhat misplaced father(played by his real life son) who takes over the film as he embarks on a spiritual and emotional hero’s journey.

There are generous splashes of humour and sensitivity from start to finish and mesmeric insights into the nature of humanity throughout this film. Jodorowsky brings all his usual bugbears along for the ride; he has a go at organised religion, fascism, Nazis, communism, capitalism et al. The Tarot is briefly mentioned and for some reason his mother, the bosomly Pamela Flores, renders all her lines operatically as if she were Tintin’s Bianca Castafiore, even when she is engaging in a truly bizarre scene involving water sports.

No Jodorowsky film would be complete without midgets, amputees and circus freaks and they happily make several humourous appearances alongside gay sailors, dogs in fancy dress and singing ice cream vendors.

The Dance of Reality will not leave you puzzled, confused or confounded but nicely entertained. It is his most straight forward film to date(The Rainbow Thief is excluded form this list as nobody has seen it) with a straight narrative and sense of place.

Now thinking about The Dance of Reality I want to see it again, and again, oh and did I mention the firemen?

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