What does the energy harnessed through orgasm have to do with the state of communist Yugoslavia circa 1971? Only counterculture filmmaker extraordinaire Dušan Makavejev has the answers (or the questions). His surreal documentary-fiction collision WR: Mysteries of the Organism begins as an investigation into the life and work of controversial psychologist and philosopher Wilhelm Reich and then explodes into a free-form narrative of a beautiful young Slavic girl’s sexual liberation. Banned upon its release in the director’s homeland, the art-house smash WR is both whimsical and bold in its blending of politics and sexuality. —The Criterion Collection
Dusan Makavejev, the most prominent director in new Yugoslav cinema is internationally recognized for his passionate, daring films that blend fiction with reality, and drama with humor. Many of these films contain experimental elements and were considered controversial for their eroticism and sharp criticism of Eastern European politics. Makavejev began making short films during the ‘50s just after he studied psychology at Belgrade University; he then went on to become active in several film societies and festivals while studying direction at the Academy for Radio, Television, and Film. He continued making shorts and documentaries for both Zagreb and Avala studios until the early ’60s. His interest in documentaries can still be see in his later fictional features. Makavejev’s first three features — Man Is Not a Bird (1966), Love Affair (1967), and Innocence Unprotected (1968) — won him international acclaim. In 1971, his fictionalized chronicle of psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, WR: Mysteries… read more
"Gentlemen, in our Democracy, everyone is entitled to a doughnut. Some get the doughnut, others get the hole in the doughnut. "
Really hope Makavejev's got another ace like Sweet Movie in his filmography because this was really underwhelming. Historically important, interesting and groundbreaking as it may be, but when it feels incredibly contrived without the (visual) balls to it, I'm quickly lost in the sea of indifference... mmm.
Rodney Welch is wrong. Makavejev’s film is just as revolutionary as Last Tango, but in a slightly different sense. WR is focused on sexuality rather than sensuality, free love rather… read review