Jodorowsky’s The Dance of Reality

A funny thing happened on the way to the theater, well, actually inside the lobby.

At the Little Theater in Rochester, NY, to see Jodorowsky’s The Dance of Reality, I loitered beforehand, looking at movie posters, being idiosyncratic and wanting to sit without a romantic couple plunking themselves behind me-yes, alone on a Saturday night, c’est la vie (Jodorowsky’s part French-Chilean so that reference still works).

The ticket seller, a younger woman who seemed new, separately told two manly men who thought The Most Wanted Man had an early show that the 7 pm movie was actually an avant-garde movie about a director’s life (Jodorowky’s The Dance of Reality).

When both men scurried off, ears bleeding from hearing a term that meant ‘new’ and ‘experimental’, the ticket seller was thusly scolded to use other, more palatable, descriptive words. I couldn’t hear what the alternative phrase was to use, but was tempted to stick up for the poor girl’s honest accuracy. I mean the femal lead is the only character who does the entire movie singing her lines operatic…tell me that’s not new?

And I would have loved to bet the two gentlemen cold hard cash (ok, I’m a teacher in August, so, a dollar:) that if they gave The Dance of Reality a chance, they probably would have enjoyed it as much, if not more, than a LeCarre based film.

If they came back for the 9:30 pm Most Wanted Man, they certainly didn’t get a voluptuous nude woman with ‘healing powers’ (a la Nicole Kidman in “Paper Boy”). Or darkly comic moments of growing up as a boy under a tyrant father, with a gratuitously adoring mother and the subsequent crazy mixed messages that come from such upbringing. Nor did they see war time torture (which I assume is right up a manly man’s testosterone alley).

Really, my only gripe is the harsh digital film used, which I looked up just now to attempt hipness and am simply copying here, having not gone to film school: “Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format)
Redcode RAW (5K) (source format)”. I see the term ‘raw’ used in the IMDB description and while I’m sure it’s a technical term (being in all caps), is still literally the reason I did not care for it. The material story is already raw enough, and then to add the garishness of digital film is not visually aesthetic. It’s like an over lit diner; the food’s nothing I’d want to actually inspect, so do I need a 160 watt bulb laid on for emphasis?

So Manly Men who came back (or not) for the 9:30 The Most Wanted Man, you missed a fine film, and should you open up to try The Dance of Reality, you owe me a dollar!

By Goldie

Aspiring writer who has retired from the institution of education. I've written plays, three of which have been performed both in Rochester NY and here in Sarasota FL. I also write stand up and obviously, film critique. My comment section does not work, so please email me your comments at

1 comment

  1. RAW format is footage exactly as the camera captured it without any processing or compression. All digital video for features would start with RAW but the final look is up to the cinematographer and the editor. Jodorowsky must have consciously chosen that look.

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