9 June 2017



If you didn't know that this Spanish-language film is the second of an autobiographical trilogy of films by the legendary South American movie-maestro Alejandro Jodorowsky, you might be forgiven for thinking that whoever directed it was as mad as a box of frogs.

ENDLESS POETRY is an arthouse explosion of colour, vibrancy, musical interludes, surrealism, the fourth wall, dwarves and penises (but not dwarf penises!), with a veritable truckload of other weird stuff thrown in for good measure.

It lit the blue touch-paper of my own personal little store of creativity and then stood well back while I ignited in a glorious burst of frenetic inspiration. That hasn't happened to me in a good while, I must say, and it's all thanks to ENDLESS POETRY, a film that is as much a celebration of all the arts as it is a cracking good movie.

At the start of the film, we see Jodorowsky as a young boy growing up in 1940s Chile in an unhappy home. His father owns a shop and is a stern disciplinarian who wants his curly-headed son to study hard and become a doctor, bringing glory and financial rewards to his family. But Alejandro has other ideas.

The kid wants to be a poet. He's already scribbling away every chance he gets and is showing every sign of being a promising and talented young writer. He lives for reading and writing poetry and is a romantic, a dreamer and an artist with a sensitive soul, the polar opposite of his shop-owning father who, one imagines, has an accounts ledger where his heart should be.

Alejandro rebels in a big way against his father and his mother. The latter sings all her lines, by the way, which is odd to say the least but no more eccentric than some of the other little idiosyncracies in the film. Alejandro runs away from home and goes to live with a marvellously colourful collective of artists, other poets, sculptors, dancers and assorted members of the intellectual and artistic avant-garde of the time.

In other words, he abandons the life he doesn't want for the life he does desire, and he does it spectacularly well. While I'm not sure what exactly he's living on financially, he has an absolute whale of a time creating his very own art, indulging his love for the tarot and mysticism and mingling and hobnobbing at close quarters with the great Chilean poets of the day. Namely, Enrique Lihn, Nicanor Parra and Stella Diaz, a sort of 'bad girl' poet who attracts Alejandro's attention the minute he lays eyes on her.

Their affair is the highlight of the film for me. Stella is a bossy, domineering and eccentric woman but she's also a true poet and she lives her life like it's a poem also. I adored her long dyed red hair, fur coat, vivid leg-paint and Doc Martens and also her fearlessness, her bravery at unashamedly being a woman in a male-dominated 'profession,' as it were.

When he first sees her naked, Alejandro is suitably awe-struck at the sight of the skull-tattoos that follow the curve of her spine from her neck to her tailbone, which I believe is known officially as the coccyx, haha. What a terrible name for a body part...!

Alejandro also has a sexual fling with a beautiful dwarf lady or 'little person,' as they're sometimes called. Political correctness moves so quickly and changes so frequently that I'm not actually sure what the right term is nowadays. Forgive my ignorance and please accept some complimentary words as a token of my everlasting esteem.

Anyway, this particular woman, who's called Pequenita, is the girlfriend of Alejandro's best friend and fellow poet Enrique Lihn. When her relationship with Enrique appears to be going tits-up, the woman offers Alejandro the use of her body in the act of sex to thank him for talking her out of committing suicide.

'I want to thank you with my sex,' she says, stripping off her clothes with not so much as a hint of self-consciousness while standing on her bed, 'but I have my period, do you mind?' 

She's also not wearing any sanitary protection whatsoever, which fact is starkly revealed to us when she stands naked in front of Alejandro, who's not fazed at all by the turn of events.

Far from 'minding' (as if a guy would ever MIND being offered the ride!), he shrugs equably as he responds: 'Blood is sacred' before speedily stripping himself and sitting the naked little person on his cock, of which, by the way, we see plenty in this film...! Nudity and sex acts abound here as the artistes do their free 'n' easy thing.

The adult Alejandro has a confrontation with his father before the film ends, but it's probably the nudie-dwarf-lady-period-sex you'll remember the most from this outrageous film in which the director makes several 'breaking the fourth wall' -style appearances himself.

The eighty-year-old director's own handsome son Adan plays the adult poet Alejandro Jodorowsky, making ENDLESS POETRY a family affair indeed. Imagine still directing movies like this at his age! The film positively pulsates with youth and energy and mixes every artistic/cultural medium you can think of in a giant pot before stirring it all up vigorously and emerging with some kind of 'genius' goulash, which steams fragrantly as it's placed on our plates.

I swear to God, you've never seen anything like this before. The film is out now on DVD and Blu-Ray courtesy of CURZON/ARTIFICIAL EYE and, quite honestly, I wouldn't buy it for your sweet old granny if I were you. Not unless she's young at heart, loves poetry and is still having rampant sex every day with a string of toyboys who love and respect her body as a fascinating piece of performance art in itself. Otherwise, she'll have a heart attack and no fooling...!

Here's one fact you may not have known about the director. In 2005, he actually officiated at the wedding of a certain Marilyn Manson to Dita Von Teese. That's well goth, haha. Alejandro Jodorowsky's a cult film-maker, poet, comic book artist, playwright, theatre director, musician and spiritual guru among other things which, I think you'll admit, is pretty high-achieving by anyone's standards. ENDLESS POETRY is a great place to start getting to know him.


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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