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Born: Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 13 October 1932.

Dusan Makavejev (JPG, 13 KB)

The most controversial Yugoslav director began his film career with shorts after graduating in psychology and film and writing film criticism. From the beginning, his films were marked with a sweet smell of forbidden fruit, making him one of the most original members of the "Black Wave": Covek nije tica / A Man is not a Bird (1965) aimed to "ironize the working class"; Ljubavni slucaj ili tragedija sluzbenice PTT / Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator / Switchboard Operator (1967) focussed on a love story between a rat exterminator and a telephone operator; Nevinost bez zastite / Innocence Unprotected (1968) combined a 1942 semi-documentary of the same name with images of the participants twenty-five years later. But the real breakthrough came in 1971, with W.R. Misterije organizma / W.R. Mysteries of the Organism. This film collage, starring Milena Dravíc, and based on the theories of sexual psychologist Wilhelm Reich, was an international hit but was judged so "subversive" in Yugoslavia that it was not officially shown there until 1986. Makavejev was forced to work abroad: he shot Sweet Movie (1974) in France and Holland, Montenegro (1981, also Pigs and Pearls) in Sweden, and The Coca Cola Kid (1985) in Australia. These films did not receive the critical acclaim of his early work, and Manifesto (1988, USA/Croatia) and Gorilla Bathes at Noon (1993, Germany) failed to revive his fortunes. His latest film, A Hole in the Soul (1994, produced by his own company Triangle and the BBC), is an intimate self-portrait.

Stojan Pelko, Encyclopedia of European Cinema

Internet Movie Database

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This page was last updated on 3 September 2000.