Archive of films WR: Mysteries of the Organism / W.R. – Misterije organizma
Around 1971, while walking down Oxford Street, we passed by the Mecca of London’s art houses at the time, the Academy Cinema, which was showing something called The Mysteries of the Organism. All of a sudden, cinema took a new dimension in our eyes; it was fresh, impertinent, joyously radical, a melting pot of documentary, archive footage and pure fiction, an exploration of Wilhelm Reich’s theories on sexual energies. There is no better proof that movies weren’t just about telling stories – they could take you much further…
Dan Fainaru, Edna Fainaru
Around 1971, while walking down Oxford Street, we passed by the Mecca of London's art houses at the time, the Academy Cinema, which was showing something called The Mysteries of the Organism, made in Yugoslavia by a director whose name we had not heard before, Dušan Makavejev. We walked in and all of a sudden cinema took a new dimension in our eyes. It was fresh, impertinent, joyously radical, a melting pot of documentary, archive footage and pure fiction. It was also an exploration of Wilhelm Reich’s theories on sexual energies and somehow, in between the lines, there was a distinct flavor of political anarchism inviting its audience to rebel against every establishment in sight, certainly the kind ruling the country the film was coming from. No better proof that movies weren't just about telling stories: They could take you much further than the next well fashioned yarn, and even if you felt some of the ideas were cockeyed, maybe ridiculous or even absurd, it still made you reconsider many of your preconceived notions about life and the way to live it. True, many things that looked revolutionary then are taken for granted by now but this picture still carries a tremendous wallop despite all the years that have gone by since it was made.
About the director
Dušan Makavejev (b. 1932, Belgrade) graduated in psychology from the University of Belgrade and subsequently studied at Belgrade’s Academy of Theater, Film, Radio, and Television. He started out as an amateur and came to international notice thanks to provocative pictures whose documentary and symbolic style (i.e. employing collage) drew on the avant-garde methods of the French New Wave. His work tends to traffic in shock value, employing invective and caustic irony while breaking ethical and sexual taboos. Beginning in the mid-1970s he worked outside his own country (Sweden, Australia, Germany, USA, France). Selected filmography: Man Is Not a Bird (1965), Innocence Unprotected (1968 – Silver Bear at the Berlinale), W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism (1971), Sweet Movie (1974), Montenegro (1981), The Coca-Cola Kid (1985), Manifesto (1988), and Gorilla Bathes at Noon (1993).
About the film
Color, 35 mm
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|Dir. of Photography:
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|Dušan Makavejev, Svetozar Udovicki
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|Arsenal - Institut für Film und Videokunst