Dušan Makavejev

WR: Mysteries of the Organism

WR: Mysteries of the Organism

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.

Film Info

  • Dušan Makavejev
  • Yugoslavia
  • 1971
  • 85 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.33:1
  • German, Russian, English
  • Spine #389

Special Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Dušan Makavejev
  • Audio commentary assembled from Raymond Durgnat's 1999 book on the film
  • Hole in the Soul, Makavejev’s 1994 tragicomic autobiographical short film, originally made for the BBC
  • New and archival video interviews with Makavejev
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum

New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Purchase Options

Special Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Dušan Makavejev
  • Audio commentary assembled from Raymond Durgnat's 1999 book on the film
  • Hole in the Soul, Makavejev’s 1994 tragicomic autobiographical short film, originally made for the BBC
  • New and archival video interviews with Makavejev
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum

New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

WR: Mysteries of the Organism
Cast
Milena Dravić
Milena
Ivica Vidović
Vladimir Ilyich
Jagoda Kaloper
Jagoda
Tuli Kupferberg
U.S. Soldier
Zoran Radmilović
Radmilović
Jackie Curtis
Herself
Miodrag Andrić
Yugoslav Soldier
Credits
Director
Dušan Makavejev
Cinematography
Pega Popovic
Cinematography
Alexander Petković
Sound
Ludwig Probst
Sound
Dušan Aleksić
Editing
Ivanka Vukasović
Art direction
Dragoljub Ivkov

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Dušan Makavejev

Director

“Narrative structure is prison; it is tradition; it is a lie; it is a formula that is imposed,” Dušan Makavejev once said. The Serbian filmmaker, who rose to cinematic fame or infamy (depending on who you ask) in Communist Yugoslavia in the sixties and early seventies, believed in breaking all the rules. Through collage and juxtaposition, Buñuelian absurdity and sexual confrontation, Makavejev freed narrative cinema from all oppressive norms. Influenced as much by Mickey Mouse cartoons and Laurel and Hardy two-reelers as he was by Russian silent films and 1930s British documentaries, Makavejev constructed unpredictable, genre-defying works that opposed the bureaucracy and dogmatic teachings of the socialist state. Man Is Not a Bird (1965), his startling debut, sets a fictional character drama in a real mining complex, and is filmed with gritty realism. His subsequent films are fiction-documentary hybrids as well, and include Love Affair, or The Case of the Missing Switch­board Operator (1967); the whimsical found-footage farce Innocence Unprotected (1968); and the astonishing WR: Mysteries of the Organism (1971), his international breakthrough, which ultimately resulted in his indictment for being a “dissident Marxist” and his 1973 exile from his home country. He continued provoking moviegoers the world over, however, making waves with the controversial Sweet Movie (1974) and the art-house hits Montenegro (1981) and The Coca-Cola Kid (1985).