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Screenshot Saturday

Screenshot Saturday: Dušan Makavejev’s WR: Mysteries of the Organism (1971)

Surreal Yugoslavian filmmaker Dušan Makavejev juxtaposes crypto-psychology and communist propaganda in his paean to sexuality, WR: Mysteries of the Organism. WR: MotO is really two films in one: The first half of the film is a documentary on the psychologist Wilhelm Reich, and his belief that one could harness the power of orgasms in special machines. The other half is about a Yugoslavian woman promoting using sex as a tool to spread communism. Interspersed between the two main focuses of the film are documentary excerpts of other sexually subversive individuals, such as Warhol Superstar Jackie Curtis, the editors of Screw magazine, and a woman making a mold of a man’s penis.

While not as famous as Vilgot Sjöman’s I Am Curious films, it is a much more watchable discussion on the connection between Marxist politics and sexual liberation. WR: MotO is a very funny, and often poignant, film, and is much more accessible than Makavejev’s extremely surreal Sweet Movie. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking to get into Eastern Bloc cinema.

WR: Mysteries of the Organism

Milena Dravić's Severed Head Speaks in WR: Mysteries of the Organism

Theo Estes 12/3/11

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