Friday, May 27, 2011

LOVE AFFAIR; OR THE CASE OF THE MISSING SWITCHBOARD OPERATOR (Dusan Makavejev, 1967)

*****
Yugoslavia

An arresting, absorbing, morbidly witty bricolage. Politically aware and very evocative of its time and place, it unfolds in the vein of the same year's "I Am Curious - Yellow", and it's inarguably valuable for providing a free-thinking, impulsive perspective on a sheltered Socialist government from within (in contrast to "Yellow"'s naive though very endearing posturing).

As far as the narrative goes, it involves a sweet, unorthodox and ultimately tragic romance in Belgrade between a free-spirited switchboard operator of Hungarian descent and a sensitive rat exterminator of Turkish ethnicity. Then there are also monologues by a criminologist and an elderly sexologist, a brutal poem about a rat, an autopsy, and footage from Esther Shub's "The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty" (1927).

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