The Dance of Reality Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: After a 23-year hiatus, The Dance of Reality marks the triumphant return of Alejandro Jodorowsky, the visionary Chilean filmmaker behind cult classics El Topo and The Holy Mountain. In the radiantly visceral autobiographical film, a young Jodorowsky is confronted by a collection of compelling characters that contributed to his burgeoning surreal consciousness. The legendary filmmaker was born in 1929 in Tocopilla, a coastal town on the edge of the Chilean desert, where the film was shot. Blending his personal history with metaphor, mythology, and poetry, The Dance of Reality reflects Jodorowsky’s philosophy that reality is not objective but rather a “dance” created by our own imaginations. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Sobczynski
    May 23, 2014
    The result will no doubt polarize viewers, as has been the case with his other major works, but it will certainly go down amongst those who see it as one of the most unforgettable films of this or any other year in recent memory.
  2. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    May 21, 2014
    As a close look at Jodorowsky’s work reveals, the line between “cult artist” and “cult leader” can be blurry. The line only gets blurrier with The Dance Of Reality, Jodorowsky’s first movie in 23 years, and the best thing he’s done, film-wise, since "The Holy Mountain."
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    May 29, 2014
    Compared to his previous films, The Dance of Reality offers a nearly coherent narrative and a gentle, reconciliatory tone.
  4. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    May 29, 2014
    For all the spectacular weirdness, Jodorowsky manages to generate real emotion.
  5. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    May 20, 2014
    It’s more gentle and fanciful in tone, and though it’s as episodic and digressive as Jodorowsky’s best-known work, the various pieces add up to a clear, not-so-odd narrative.
  6. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    May 22, 2014
    Jodorowsky throws everything and several kitchen sinks into the film, yet it all has its place, and the overall effect is not of the headachey mess it would be in anyone else’s hands, but of a kind of joyous, absurdist melange of highbrow concepts, personal memoir and potty humor.
  7. Reviewed by: Clayton Dillard
    May 19, 2014
    Alejandro Jodorowsky never manages to transcend the sense that he's indulging himself and participating in a hollow introspection unworthy of his prior cinema.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 8, 2014
    The man is an incredible filmmaker through and through. I wouldn't say the film is flawless but I feel like Jodorowsky exploits the films flaws to a whimsical amount. It's a fantastic and very personal film from a teacher. Jodorowsky remains the most ballsy filmmaker working not only because of his style but also for his powerful statements about religious and societal conditioning. Expand
  2. Jun 1, 2014
    Alejandro Jodorowsky is back! Could there be a better time? Cinema needs daring filmmakers like this who ground the truly absurd in reality. Like EL TOPO and HOLY MOUNTAIN, THE DANCE OF REALITY is far from perfect. The film is at least 30 minutes too long with sequences that come out of left field with no impact. But the central statement, an examination of dogma--religious, social, and political--the easy bending of our minds that impact us all, is an important topic to explore and Jodorowsky does it winningly. Yes, the message is clear and loud. We are hit on the head with it. Maybe sometimes we need to be hit? Collapse