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A love romance between older, respectable engineer that came in the industrial town to do some expert job and young hairdresser in whose house he stayed in and the consequences of that relationship, especially after young driver gets involved. Written by
The debut feature film of Yugoslavian director Dusan Makavejev, best known for his films WR: Mysteries of the Organism and Sweet Movie. These are the three films of his I've so far seen (and, along with Man Is Not a Bird, I also own two more in a recently released Eclipse box set). He's very clearly a unique director. Man Is Not a Bird is kind of a mixture of avant garde, semi-documentary film-making mixed with wry comedy, social realism of the sort you often see from countries behind the Iron Curtain and French New Wave stylistic touches. It's a real mishmash, but it works pretty well. If the stories of the film had been a tad more interesting, I could see this film having a greater impact. As it is, it follows a couple of stories in the mining town of Bor, one involving a middle-aged man who has arrived in the town to work as an engineer. He begins an affair with a much younger hairdresser (Milena Dravic, who is also featured in WR). The other major plot line involves a worker at the smelting plant who treats his homely wife cruelly. Much like Sweet Movie, which is by far my favorite Makavejev film so far, the true value of the film is in its gorgeous imagery, here in black and white. Makavejev especially finds wonderful ways of shooting Milena Dravic, with whose form he seems obsessed at times. I would say this doesn't feel like a fully-formed film, but it's definitely of interest.
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