325 Great Directors: Dusan Makavejev

“It’s very difficult to say what makes you get involved in movies. You just see so many movies that at some point it becomes part of your life. As soon as you see ten, they become part of you. Movies always follow us as reference material or as some kind of dreamlike material for dealing with things we don’t understand in our lives. Movies give us solutions, or provide a whispering commentary on what is happening around us.”

Why This Director?: Crazy shit is always worth it.

My Last Experience Was…: No.

What Did I Watch: Legendarily insane Sweet Movie.

Where Does He Fit: Sweet Movie does not fuck around, launching with a mad looking woman singing a Polish song about how she sees something that could be her beloved…or it could be cow shit. And then it launches into a beauty pageant for chastity belts, with the old woman in charge gleefully talking about how the body “kills the animal” via “triumph of the will.” The plan is for the heir to her fortune to marry the winner of the competition, and it is presided over by a unicycle rider named Dr. Mittlefinger.

The women all receive gynecological exams live on television, with Miss Canada having the best one…so much so that it glows like the Pulp Fiction briefcase. She marries an idiotic Texas businessman for winning who is obsessed with his health, and after a sequence where she is cleaned with alcohol that almost feels sexy, we are abruptly shook out of it by her ear splitting shriek upon seeing his penis. No spoilers, but suffice to say, it’s…off. And he pees on her, so there’s that. She demands alimony, yells at a black man (with the wince inducing name of Neanderthal) who tries to stuff her into a suitcase “Hitler! Dirty Jew!”

Meanwhile, we intercut this with a different lady (who was basically replacing the original actress after she grew disgusted with all the shit that Makavejev was putting her through) traveling on a barge who is pursued by a man that tries to win her affections in typically disgusting fashion. It plays like the darkest L’Atalante parody you would ever imagine, one imbued fully with the spirit of Communism.

So obviously, this is a satire in the Snowpiercer vein, in that is so loud and over the top in perverting the two main strains of government that it kind of inspires a sort of full bodied worship for being so willing to go there while also making you wish that there was just a little restraint. Anyone acting as if Carole Laure, who played Miss Canada, was unreasonable and trying to ruin artistic genius by walking off the set for a scene that was incredibly fucking nasty is a misogynist, pure and simple. The movie is the work of a very intelligent individual who had enough success with his prior work to go completely unrestrained here, and the result is simultaneously freeing, masterful at its goals, and scattershot to pieces.


Most Valuable Asset: Boundary pusher.
Buzzword: Transgressive.
Most Excited For: Love Affair or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator appears to be his most well liked…and possibly his tamest. If I want more provacation, then obviously WR.

Coming Up Next: Palme winner Abdellatif Kechiche.


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