Endless Poetry (15, 128 mins, ★★★)
The New Year is generally a good time to be a cinema lover. Our picture houses suddenly become inundated with heavyweight films vying for attention while the awards season prepares to get going.
Predicted to win big in 2017 is the much-hyped Hollywood-set musical La La Land, which gets its British release on January 17. Out in the same week is Manchester by the Sea, a melancholic drama starring the always brilliant Casey Affleck, followed swiftly by Pablo Larraín’s Jackie Kennedy biopic, called simply Jackie (January 20), and Mel Gibson’s World War II epic Hacksaw Ridge (January 27).
All three could be in the running, one way or another, come Oscars night. T2, Danny Boyle’s long-awaited sequel to Trainspotting, will also be arriving very shortly (January 27) – I’m one of many keeping everything crossed that it’s not a total disaster.
In the meantime, we’ve got Endless Poetry to divert us, and while it’s unlikely to win too many major prizes, it’s certainly a noteworthy New Year release, mainly due to the fact it’s completely and utterly bonkers. There will surely be no other cinematic experience quite like it in the coming 12 months. It’s a film by Chilean-French director Alejandro Jodorowsky, best known for his crazed 1970s Western El Topo, and is the second in his series of autobiographical works. This one tells the story of Jodorowsky’s formative years in Santiago in the 1940s and 1950s, when he was a young poet on a quest for inspiration.
The film-maker, played here by his son Adan, leaves home to escape the stifling influence of a father who won’t let him read Lorca and falls in with a disparate group of artists. The tale unfurls in a series of absurdist comic book vignettes, boosted by strong doses of Fellini.
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