I am not entirely certain what it is I have just been watching.
I recognize what I saw in the individual scenes but connecting the dots is not easy.
The movie is “W.R. Mysteries of the Organism”, supposedly a Yugoslavian movie from back when that was a county. It was directed by one Dusan Makavejev and that is as much as I can say with certainty.
A synopsis is practically impossible. What we have here is a montage of clips of sources that does not seem to have terribly much to do with each other, except that they seem to revolve around free love, orgasms and communism. The different elements are cross clipped together seemingly at random which makes the result look rather messy.
The major elements are:
1. A documentary on a weird German therapist who set up treatment in America involving a lot of screaming and orgasms as well as reading stories for children in phone booth sized rooms. The dude, Wilhelm Reich, was eventually arrested and spent the last years of his life in prison.
2. A strange Yugoslav movie about a very political woman who preaches free love, refuses a drunken worker, and woos a Russian ice-skater who is as political as she is. Eventually he chops off her head and starts singing.
3. A man walking around in New York in a ragged orange coverall, helmet and gun.
4. A woman making a gypsum cast of an erect penis
5. Stalin speaking to the people
6. More screaming people
7. A man getting electroshock.
8. More naked people
Obviously, there is a lot of sex here, but it seems to be a worship of sex as some magic force to heal people and fix politics. Given that this is a 1971 movie that would make some sense, but that is also as far as I got deciphering this movie.
I understand that this was supposed to be provoking in its day and I would admit that this is not something I would watch on a Sunday afternoon with children, but the troubling thing for me was not to watch the sex part, that was sweet enough, but the therapy elements. The screaming men and women, the group orgasms, the weird “orgon” theory and how children were involved. This was very uncomfortable to watch, though, somehow, I doubt that was the intention. Rather, I suppose we were meant to think that these people were awesome and liberated.
The Yugoslav story made absolutely no sense. Free sex as an essential part of revolutionary communism? Is this a critique of Russia for suppressing this part of communism?
Well, let us just say that I am confused.