Dusan Makavejev - W.R. - Misterije organizma [W.R. - Mysteries of the Organism] (1971)
Friday, March 30, 2007
Summary: Makavejev's most famous film is WR: Mysteries of the Organism (1968-1971), and while some critics, notably Robin Wood, have argued that here the director's collage approach has finally gone out of control, the match of subject and director is ideal. The "WR" of the title refers to Wilhelm Reich, the controversial psychologist and philosopher whose "orgone box" alleged to cure cancer and other diseases landed him in a Pennsylvania prison, where he died in 1958.
Reich was, like Makavejev, an unapologetic liberationist, disgusted by both communism's hatred of creativity and capitalism's idolatry of consumerism. For both men, to quote Reich as quoted in the film, "Fascism is the frenzy of sexual cripples." Makavejev's paean to Reich is a kaleidoscope of constructs and effects, a wild m?lange that's variously a heartfelt tribute to a martyred pioneer, a screed against war and more personal brutalities, a satire of communism, and a plea for liberation on all levels. Shot in both Yugoslavia and the United States, WR includes a rich sampling of Reich quotes, a bit of footage of Reich and his wife, interviews with family members, devotees, and Maine locals who knew him as an okay guy who was slightly eccentric. His influence is indicated in voiceover quotes from both Reich and Makavejev ("Comrade-lovers, for your health's sake, fuck freely!"), scenes of a bioenergetic workshop in New York, a penis plaster cast being made, and a rare sighting of one of the (then) "ten or fifteen orgone boxes left in the country."
The film is a crazy quilt of visual quotes, ranging from the ironic hagiography of an old Russian melodrama about Stalin to the grisly horror of Nazi medical footage of electroshock therapy. WR?s weapons against these atrocities are whimsy, satire, and sex. He skewers war in the person of poet Tuli Kupferberg, seen prancing through the streets of New York in a comic costume holding a fake gun and quietly rattling passersby. Most impressive in this regard is a recurring story of Party faithful Radmilovic (Zoran Radmilovic), Reich enthusiast Milena (Mileana Dravic), and her roommate Jagoda (Jagoda Kaloper). Hilarious indeed are Milena's arguments with a canny old lady, who dishes the Reichian ideal as practiced by a couple nearby: "To me it's just a fuckfest!" When her boyfriend Radmilovic upbraids her thus, "Now that you've passed a Party course, you snub intimate proletarian friends!" she replies in perfect communist-speak: "That's a slanderous lie, you irresponsible element!"
In a brilliant stroke, when a perfect orgasm leads to Milena's beheading, she continues to dispense Reichian homilies from the little white pan in which her head sits. Not surprisingly, WR had its share of censorship problems; in fact, Makavejev left the former Yugoslavia in 1971 when the film was banned there.(from Bright Lights Film Journal)
File ==> Size : 700 MB (or 717,304 KB or 734,519,296 bytes)
Source : VHS
Ripper : Unknown
Subtitle : Hardcoded English Subs
Video ==> Frame Size : 640x480
Bitrate : 1028 kb/s
FPS : 23.976
QF : 0.140 bits/pixel
FourCC Code : [DX50] DivX 5.x Codec
Audio ==> Sampling Rate : 48000 Hz
Bitrate : 131 kb/s (65/ch, stereo) VBR LAME3.90
Channels : 2 (Stereo)
Audio Tag : 0x0055(MP3) ID'd as MPEG-1 Layer 3
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