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Two Subversive East European Comedies

Sunday, October 14, 1979
8:20 p.m. WR--Mysteries of the Organism
Dusan Makavejev (Yugoslavia,1971)

Yugoslavian film director Dusan Makavejev - one of the most brilliant talents in the post-New Wave New Cinema - is at his best making collages, filmic collages of comic, tragic and iconic images. Here, the theme is World Revolution and Wilhelm Reich, which means the film is about the sexual liberation of human bodies as an essential part of the social revolution. Among the elements in Makavejev’s bold and funny construct are Tuli Kupferberg, Jackie Curtis, a session with a plaster caster, interviews and documentation on Reichian therapy, the ghost of J.V. Stalin, and a wonderfully liberating fiction about a Yugoslavian beautician whose assaults on a sexually repressed Soviet ice skating champion result in a violent confirmation of one of Reich’s theses on Stalinist puritanism.
Since WR--Mysteries of the Organism, Makavejev has, sadly, been able to complete only one movie, Sweet Movie (1974).

• Directed and Written by Dusan Makavejev. With Milena Dravic. (1971, 85 mins, color, 35mm, English titles, Print from Cinema 5)