With this second volume of cinematic autobiography, 87-year-old Chilean maverick filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky delivers a moving testimony on the relationship between an oppressive father and the creative temperament. For a director who’s delivered a career’s worth of weirdness – from ‘El Topo’ to ‘Santa Sangre’– it’s a surprise to see something with such universal appeal, requiring no prior knowledge of the Jodorowsky back catalogue.
Instead, ‘Endless Poetry’ asks for an open heart and mind to follow the twentysomething Jodorowsky as he flees his bullying conservative dad and moves among poets, misfits, artists and circus performers while trying to find his own path in life. Jodorowsky makes good use of his family (his sons Adan and Brontis play the director and his dad) and evidently shares Fellini’s love for clowns and generously proportioned ladies.
But he also ensures his story about living life to the full is jam-packed with colourful theatricality – exquisitely rendered by ace cameraman Christopher Doyle. Yes, it’s episodic, overlong and slightly self-involved, but the old man really has poured his heart into this, building to a final leave-taking that’s surprisingly emotive and utterly genuine.