Legendary Director Alejandro Jodorowsky Looks to His Fans for Help Funding His Next Movie

By  · Published on February 17th, 2015

Sony Pictures Classics

Many crowdfunding efforts need to show us a lot of footage at the start of their campaign. Even if they’re about something with an easily targeted audience, such as a documentary about film scores, if there’s no famous name attached behind the camera we need proof that the filmmakers know what they’re doing before giving them our money.

Then there are people like Spike Lee, who launched his Kickstarter and raised more than $1m without even the title of Da Sweet Blood of Jesus let alone a lot of details known yet. Alejandro Jodorowsky is another legendary name who doesn’t need to show us new footage yet. We’ve seen his old footage, in the form of surreal classics like El Topo and The Holy Mountain, and we sort of know what to expect from him.

Jodorowsky has launched a Kickstarter campaign ahead of production on his latest, and while there’s not really anything to show us of it yet (it begins shooting in July), we at least have a title – Endless Poetry – and a synopsis to go by. The film also has source material, as it’s adapted from the second half of his autobiographical book “The Dance of Reality,” which means its sort of a sequel to his previous movie of that title.

While The Dance of Reality received great reviews and drew a fair amount of his fanbase to theaters, it doesn’t (yet) have the sort popularity that his cult classics of the 1970s or 1989’s Santa Sangre have. That makes me wonder if Jodorowsky could rally so much support for a crowdfund project today if it weren’t for the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, which at least from IMDb users appears to have been the more successful recent release.

It’s interesting that Dune is included in his filmography in the brief campaign video below. It wouldn’t be there had the doc not been made and been a hit. And I wonder how many new fans the filmmaker has thanks to the doc, especially those who haven’t even seen his earlier work and just appreciate him for the one that got away.

Maybe more interesting, though, is that the most exciting perk in this campaign is that all your real money pledged will be exchanged for “poetic money” with Jodorowsky’s face on it. Can we somehow make this a legitimate new form of currency?

Endless Poetry will again star the filmmaker’s sons Brontis, Adan and Dante and Pamela Flores and is aiming to be finished next February. This time he is working with a new cinematographer, Tyler Perry regular Toyomichi Kurita. Here’s the official synopsis for the film:

Leaving his childhood and his native Tocopilla behind, the adolescent Alejandro Jodorowsky follows his parents to Santiago de Chile. Between his lack of self-confidence and the family pressure he is under, Alejandro struggles to express his desires and find his own path. But the flourishing capital, filled with artists and poets offers the perfect setting for him to grow out of his cage. Thinking he’d fit in well, Alejandro’s cousin Ricardo takes the young boy to the home of Veronica and Carmen Cereceda, where puppeteers, dancers, sculptors and painters all live and create together. There, defying all of his old limitations, Alejandro takes the first step on his path to becoming a poet in the Chilean artistic epicenter of the 1940s. Alongside rising poets like Enrique Linh, Nicanor Parra and in the arms of his first love, Stella Diaz, Alejandro’s poetic destiny takes form and a new world unravels … changing his life forever.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.