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
Makavejev blew his load with this tongue-in-ass-cheek sermon, which takes its inspiration from, but can't be bothered to spend much time seriously looking into the work or life of, psychoanalytic outlier and noted mail fraud Wilhelm Reich, who, having ended his life as an Eisenhower Republican, sits no more comfortably as an icon of the counterculture than he does anywhere else. A fascinating, spazgasmic snatchshot of the sexual revolution's false paradise.
WR: Mysteries of the Organism is the kind of film that could have only come out of a period as liberally expressive as the late 60s and early 70s, in which artists engaged in a radical political… read review