La Danza de la Realidad review – a portrait of the artist with a circus troupe

The octogenarian director Alejandro Jodorowsky relives his troubled childhood in 1930s Chile in a film of carnivalesque exuberance

The Chilean visionary Alejandro Jodorowsky’s first feature since 1990’s disappointing The Rainbow Thief is a fantastical quasi-autobiographical romp in the manner of Fellini’s Amarcord, or perhaps Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg. Adapted from Jodorowsky’s novel La Danza de la Realidad (with elements of El Niño del Jueves Negro), this is warmer than many of the director’s most revered works, yet not in the least constrained by its intimacy and affection. On the contrary, the phantasmagorial zest that first made El Topo and The Holy Mountain midnight-movie fixtures is very much to the fore, albeit tempered by a sense of resolution and resolve – the anarchic tranquillity of age.

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