Dusan Makavejev – Manifesto aka A Night of Love (1988)

manifesto1988a Dusan Makavejev   Manifesto aka A Night of Love (1988)

logoimdbb Dusan Makavejev   Manifesto aka A Night of Love (1988)

In a Central European country a provincial town prepares for the king’s visit, and the chief of the secret police arrives to uncover a suspected anarchist plot. This is perhaps Makavejev’s most “mainstream” film, and an unexpected delight. Its pleasures are both the director’s usual satirical commentary on revolutionary politics, and the eccentricities and quirks of the individual characters and their bizarre, mad interactions. Continue reading

Dusan Makavejev – W.R. – Misterije organizma aka W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism [+ extras] (1971)

00qq9 Dusan Makavejev   W.R.   Misterije organizma aka W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism [+ extras] (1971)

logoimdbb Dusan Makavejev   W.R.   Misterije organizma aka W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism [+ extras] (1971)

“W.R.” is pioneering sexologist Wilhelm Reich, whose precedent-breaking theories concerning carnal behavior and politics (including the invention of the orgone box) made him persona non grata in most psychoanalytic circles. By all accounts, Reich began his career brilliantly – as the next great successor to Freud and Jung; he then delved into extraordinarily controversial work that divided his critics, leading some to conclude that Reich had experienced a psychotic break from reality. Dusan Makavejev is the equally controversial Yugoslavian director fascinated by Reich’s theories. This essay film by Makavejev – his first major work – constitutes a witty, free-form riff on the director’s perception of Reichian philosophies as the basis of individual and collective sexual liberation. Makavejev elucidates the Reichian mindset via interviews with the doctor’s relatives and colleagues (we even hear from Reich’s barber!) Also illustrated is the ongoing conflict between the free-thinking disciples of W.R.’s sociopolitical attitudes and the adherents of sterile Stalinism. Over the course of the picture, Makavejev journeys to the U.S. and interviews such American sexual liberationists as Screw magazine editor Al Goldstein and Betty Dodson. Woven into the factual proceedings is a fictional plotline concerning the romance between Reich adherent Milena and uptight Soviet athlete Vladimir Ilyich. Though the film was never released in Makavejev’s native Yugoslavia, WR: Mysteries of the Organism firmly established the iconoclastic filmmaker’s international reputation. Continue reading

Dusan Makavejev – Montenegro (1981)

montenegro1sh Dusan Makavejev   Montenegro (1981)

logoimdbb Dusan Makavejev   Montenegro (1981)

Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader wrote:
A funny, raunchy film by Dusan Makavejev–a paean to the liberating power of dirt, as in both grime and smut. The setting is squeaky-clean Sweden, where an American woman (Susan Anspach) married to a stuffy businessman (Erland Josephson) falls in with a colony of Yugoslavian immigrants. It’s a one-joke movie, without the depth or formal inventiveness of Makavejev’s WR: Mysteries of the Organism, but the joke is good and well sustained Continue reading

Dusan Makavejev – Covek nije tica aka Man Is Not A Bird (1965)

511C0MZNBGL Dusan Makavejev   Covek nije tica aka Man Is Not A Bird (1965)

logoimdbb Dusan Makavejev   Covek nije tica aka Man Is Not A Bird (1965)

The first feature by Serbian director Dusan Makavejev, Man Is Not a Bird is a capable satire of the Eastern European work-politic combined with a rather ribald sex comedy. The plot centers around an engineer named Jan (Janez Vrhovec), who travels to eastern Serbia to help out in a copper factory. When he arrives, he rents a room from the parents of the local, bombshell hairdresser Raika (Milena Dravic), only to wind up in her arms as well. One night, while Jan is accepting an award for his stellar work ethic, Raika hooks up with a smarmy truck driver, angering Jan, her parents, and just about everyone. Continue reading

Dusan Makavejev – Nevinost bez zastite aka Innocence Unprotected (1968)

innocenceunprotectedpos Dusan Makavejev   Nevinost bez zastite aka Innocence Unprotected (1968)

logoimdbb Dusan Makavejev   Nevinost bez zastite aka Innocence Unprotected (1968)

Innocence Unprotected was originally filmed in 1941 under the title Nevinoz bez Zastite; it was meant to be the first all-talking feature ever made in Serbia. Yugoslav gymnast Dragolijub Aleksic wrote, produced, directed and starred in this simple tale of a young man who rescues his lady love from her wicked stepmother. The film was never released, falling victim to the Nazi censors; later on, the film was condemned as pro-Nazi (huh?) Flash-forward to 1968: documentary filmmaker Dusan Makavejev unearthed this forgotten film, expanded upon it with newsreel footage of Dragolijub Aleksic performing his athletic feats and filmed interviews with the surviving cast members, and came up with Innocence Unprotected. The result is less a dramatic film than a montage-like celebration of Yugoslavian customs, folklore, and humor. Makavejev referred to Innocence Unprotected as a “montage of attractions”; viewers will no doubt find those attractions most attractive. Continue reading

Dusan Makavejev – Sweet Movie [+Extras] (1974)

61ldp8roaluk1 Dusan Makavejev   Sweet Movie [+Extras] (1974)

logoimdbb Dusan Makavejev   Sweet Movie [+Extras] (1974)

Plot Synopsis [AMG]
Like his WR: Mysteries of the Organism, Dusan Makavejev’s controversial 1974 feature Sweet Movie is firmly rooted in the principles of psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich. In cinematic terms, this means bombarding the audience with an onset of imagery so visceral, disgusting and repellent that it “awakens” the viewer in a Brechtian manner by “short-circuiting” the audience’s reactions. Sweet Movie interweaves two narratives. One begins with a trip to the “Miss World Virginity Contest,” whose winner, Miss Monde 1984 (Carole Laure) is auctioned off to Mr. Kapital (Animal House’s John Vernon), a Texas oil billionaire with an odd perversion. Instead of deflowering her on her wedding night, he sterilizes the terrified girl’s body with rubbing alcohol and showers her in urine with his massive gold-plated penis, while an audience watches bemusedly through his bedroom window. She later escapes from her bridegroom, in a suitcase, and winds up at a wild Viennese commune whose participants indulge in public defecation and a food orgy that wraps with a massive display of gurgling, yakking, and vomiting. At the tale’s conclusion, Miss Monde shoots a television commercial that involves writhing in a giant vat of chocolate, with which she is completely drenched from head to toe, as the cameras roll. The second story involves a woman, Anna Planeta (Anna Prucnal) piloting a candy-filled boat down a river, with a massive papier-mache head of Lenin on the prow and a lover in-tow who is a refugee from the Battleship Potemkin. Continue reading

pixel Dusan Makavejev   Sweet Movie [+Extras] (1974)