Endless Poetry (Poesia Sin Fin) 2.0 stars

Endless Poetry (Poesia Sin Fin) movie poster

Chilean surrealist Alejandro Jodorowsky continues the fantastical memoir he began in 2013’s The Dance of Reality. But where that first film made a tragic-absurdist hero out of young Alejandro’s fierce father, Poetry necessarily casts him as the villain. Alejandro must come of age, and that means breaking with Dad and his cramped dream of My Son the Doctor. Alejandro will become a poet, no matter how many times the giant, disembodied head of his father calls him a faggot. In the process, he will put the axe to the family tree, and not in any sort of metaphorical fashion. Because if you’re going to tell the standard story of the young, misunderstood artist, it helps to make it this self-consciously overblown and literal. It’s an entertaining trick for conveying the urgency and significance that the individual feels even as he starts down the well-worn path. At times, it’s tempting to dismiss the frequently silly goings on as an exercise in profound self-indulgence. But by the time Alejandro confronts his father on the docks just before his own expatriation, it occurs that self-indulgence is sort of the point, and that it just might be in the service of something that is actually, simply profound. Jodorowsky is dramatizing his life, just like everybody else does. 2016.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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