WR: Mysteries of the Organism

1971 [SERBO-CROATIAN]

Comedy / Drama / Fantasy

0
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 5014

psychiatrist communism avant-garde figure skating sexual repression

Plot summary


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September 02, 2022 at 08:51 AM

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720p.WEB
779.87 MB
960*720
Multiple languages 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 24 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 6 / 10

A farcical work by a master of comic timing and sensual exhibition

The plot concentrates on Wilhelm Reich's controversial vital energy… Reich believes that unless a mysterious universal phenomenon called "orgone energy" is discharged naturally through sexual union, obsessions and compulsions will erupt...

The film is a collection of these sorts of neuroses, done with exceptional skill and comic action, set in modern-day Yugoslavia… The main character is Milena Dravic, who shouts from her heavily populated apartment: "Politics is for those whose orgasm is incomplete!" Complimenting the idealistic Milena are two female sexologists who are obsessed with the physical nature of human relations...

The film is a blast at repression of any kind—political or moral—and a poem to uninhibited sexual intercourse... Repression sickens and enslaves, whereas nature's physical pleasure sets the human spirit free…

There is an abundance of vivacious sexual encounters, much nudity, and constant immersing into other social taboos, but the film's coup de grâce is a natural mixing of erotica, humor, and politics...

Reviewed by NateManD 10 / 10

It's a mystery alright!

WR: Mysteries of the Organism, is one unique if not messed up viewing experience. Part documentary and part fictional surrealist philosophical sex comedy, Serbo-Croatian director Dusan Makavejev assaults the viewers senses with imagery, music, politics and satire. "Mysteries of the Organism" is on many top 1000 film lists, but for some odd reason it is nearly impossible to track down. Just like Makavejev's other film "Sweet Movie", I was put on a several month waiting list on Amazon. Thank god for ebay! This is a film that screams for a DVD release, but I don't think many distributors want to touch it due to it's explicit sexuality and subversive elements. The film starts off as a documentary on Wilhelm Reich, a scientist who studied the orgon and used the human orgasm as a method for healing. Of course, similar to the scientist Tesla; his books were seized and burned by the U.S. government and FDA. Then the second part of the film deals with Milena, a sexually liberated Yugoslavian girl who makes revolutionary speeches on her apartment balcony. She says "The October Revolution failed by not excepting free love". Later she falls in love with a Soviet figure skater who's afraid to express his sexual feelings. So this film is a comedy, based on the politics of human sexuality. It mocks capitalism and communism for suppressing people's sexual desires. Now if only I could find the soundtrack. My rating is 10/10, which means I'll watch it again!

Reviewed by Quinoa1984 10 / 10

an anarchic art-film with communists, sex, plaster-caster genitals, Stalin, gays, ice skaters, and mental patients all rolled into one

WR is not exactly a full-blown "perfect film". It is, without a doubt, one of the most in-your-face forms of personal, artistic and political expression put out in the period. Only Godard can be compared for something as demanding and daring as W.R., but even then there could be compromises due to his penchant for drawing out the facet of the cinematic essay. Writer/director Dusan Makavejev goes fearlessly into making a hybrid of documentary and fiction, where one sees a truly raw form take place in how he places his camera on subjects and on locales, and an attitude of recklessness in how he edits together the fictional segments (a free-love inspired communist Yugoslavian meets a more uptight male ice skater and fall somewhat in a kind of love surrounded by semantics) with archival footage and the documentary.

It's this same reckless quality and adherence only to throw out any typical narrative that makes W.R such a crazy milestone in the avant-garde (which, by the way, Makavejev says is only relative to other films). He could have just made a serious work about the writer/sex therapist Wilhelm Reich, or a romantic drama about two differing sides of the personifications of communist ideas played out, but he's discontent with making either or and does both, and more. It's a film of its time, but not trapped in it.

One of the best things that also comes out right away from W.R. is that it is, in the tradition of another cinematic anarchist like Godard, a full-blown satire. This is essential because without this spirit of mocking and criticizing the very things that Makavejev is praising (i.e. Leninist and Stalinist propaganda footage is inter-cut with footage from what must be committed folk at an asylum getting electroshock and knocking heads against the wall), the film would very quickly become preachy and didactic, and might have actually been more-so accepted by the Yugoslav censors.

It's the very act of humor about it all, of having sex as if in a kaleidoscope put to dry narration, or the crazy bearded guy with a helmet carrying around a gun and sometimes giving it a 'good time, or how some weird drunken neighbor literally crashes through the wall of the communist girl's apartment while he and the ice skater talk politics and her (very naked) friend does leg exercises, that makes it on the surface seem so outrageous.

And believe-you-me, it didn't get the "Luis Bunuel award" at Cannes for nothing! Going between a gay guy telling about his prime sexual experiences to seeing women and men in the throws of Reich's 'method' of releasing pent up tensions (this may be the only repetitive portion of the film, not s shocking to anyone who's seen any given episode of HBO's Real Sex, albeit for the period it's quite absorbing), and then back to Reich's theories that were crushed and burned as he died in a prison, and then back again to the Yugoslav 'love' story that ends with a few image that Jodorowsky might wince at.

And as this is all going on, Makavejev doesn't let the audience stop thinking, either. Behind a sequence like when Milena riles up the men in the building complex to have a free and healthy attitude towards communism is some truth, contained within what is obviously a parody of communist propaganda films are points that the viewer has to take into account, or at least to fill in some blanks as the film goes forward.

The lack of structure then, in a sense, is structured as such, and it becomes an act of participation to guess what might come next, of what might be either informative- like the history of Reich as writer and controversial figure, almost by bad luck, or about the delirious technique of the 'box' used by Reich on his patients- or entertaining, in ways that only a provocateur can handle. Now, take this as a fact, know what you're getting into before you seek out the Criterion DVD. It's quite a graphic film in terms of showing full on sex, aroused genitalia, and sometimes not in always the playful manner intended. But it's not simply that to look out for, though even by today's standards it's a bit surprising.

What makes W.R. such a unique and warped bird of art is how it challenges the viewer, provokes fully if not discussion then some kind of collision of intellectual and visceral reaction for those who at least meet the filmmaker halfway. Once in a while frustrating, but never ever boring, W.R. is a cinematic shock from a go-for-broke iconoclast.

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