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In a small European country, the king is scheduled to visit a small, quiet and "safe" village. It turns out that while the village may indeed be small, it's neither as quiet nor as safe as it's expected to be.
A dense film that cuts up footage of a primary plot of two young Yugoslavian girls, one a politico and the other a sexpot, and an affair with a visiting Russian skater. Mixing metaphors of Russia's relationship with Yugoslavia, intercut with footage and interviews with Wilhelm Reich and Al Goldstein of Screw magazine. The film applies Reich's theories of Orgone energy and analogies of Stalinism as a form of Freudian sexual repression. Also known as W.R. The Mysteries of the Organism in English subtitled version. Was banned in Yugoslavia shortly after it was made. Written by
Malcolm Humes <email@example.com>
Makavejev was always one of the clowns of the Third Cinema, and WR, his masterpiece, is no exception. Makavejev interweaves fiction, documentary, and found audio and video clips (a Stalinist propaganda film, electro-shock treatment footage) to create a fantastically bizarre but intelligent discussion of both the orgone energy theory of Wilhelm Reich and the relationship between Yugoslavia and the USSR in a post-Stalinist era.
I know. It sounds tedious, but it isn't. In fact, it's really fascinating. Among the clips Makavejev (a film theoretician in his own right, WR harkens back to the pre-Stalinist era of Soviet Montage) assembles are footage of performance art by the Yippie poet/singer Tuli Kapferberg and documentary clips of Jim Buckley, an editor for Screw Magazine, getting a mold of his penis made.
WR is bizarre, dogmatic, and at times, hard to watch, but having seen it twice now, I've come to appreciate its ways. By the time Vladimir breaks into song at the film's end, you'll be smiling too.
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