ByNadia Robertson, writer at
Co-founder of 1931 Productions: a film production company with the mindset of making interesting, stylish and original films regardless of
Nadia Robertson

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, memorizingly 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.

THE DANCE OF REALITY now plays at the Cinefamily theater in Los Angeles!!

If you can’t tell, I absolutely adore his relationship with his lovely looking feline friend.

"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

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