From the Eclipse Shelf: Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switch­board Operator

Oct 6, 2011

As you can see from our Chef du Cinema series and our Food on Film Explore category, we often find ourselves with a hankering for movies that give us a little something extra to chew on. One movie that’s really cooking is, perhaps counterintuitively, Serbian filmmaker Dušan Makavejev’s sui generis 1967 Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switch­board Operator, from Eclipse Series 18: Dušan Makavejev—Free Radical.

In addition to its more sensationally grim aspects—it’s based on the harrowing story of a real-life romance between two working-class people in Belgrade—Love Affair features a tantalizing tutorial on the finer points of strudel-making. Among all of the film’s experimental asides (including direct addresses from a sexologist and a criminologist), the strudel segment is easily the most delightful. There’s an erotic joy in the way actress Eva Ras uses her fingers to mix egg and flour, lightly greases the pan, and delicately maneuvers the paper-thin pastry dough, before putting the dessert into her not-so-easy-bake oven. It’s a success, set to triumphant music by Verdi. Watch the clip below:

From the Eclipse Shelf: <i>Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switch­board Operator</i>