The Dance of Reality (La danza de la realidad) (NR)
Every inch the graybeard valedictory, The Dance of Reality has something El Topo (1970), and The Holy Mountain (1973) did not: the graceful clarity of a fairy tale. Or, rather, a Marquezian magical realism populated by the familiar Jodorowsky carnival of animals, dwarfs, amputees, clowns, shamans, and endomorphs. Jodorowsky was born in the small seaside Chilean village of Tocopilla, and that's where he returned to shoot his memoir-movie, turning the town into a circus. Raised in his émigré parents' undergarment shop, nine-year-old Alejandro (Jeremias Herskovits) is torn between his sadistic and homophobic father (Brontis Jodorowsky), who rabidly tries to toughen the little softie up with abuse, and his dreamy, bosomy mother (Pamela Flores), who, in a self-conscious master stroke, sings all of her lines in an operatic soprano.
The Dance of Reality shouldn't be anyone's indoctrination to El Maestro -- start chronologically, with Fando & Lis (1968) -- but as a sweet, inventive coda to one of film culture's unique and defiant careers, it's a welcome thing. (