Love Affair; Or The Case Of The Missing Switchboard Operator

  • 1967
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy

It is with great economy that Dusan Makavejev directs this 70-minute feature--his second--which contains a love story, a criminal investigation, lectures by both a sexologist (Dr. Aleksandar Kostic) and a criminologist (Dr. Zivojin Aleksic), a short documentary and a poem about killing rats, an autopsy, a cinema-verite scene on how to install a shower,...read more

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It is with great economy that Dusan Makavejev directs this 70-minute feature--his second--which contains a love story, a criminal investigation, lectures by both a sexologist (Dr. Aleksandar Kostic) and a criminologist (Dr. Zivojin Aleksic), a short documentary and a poem about killing

rats, an autopsy, a cinema-verite scene on how to install a shower, documentary footage of Soviet citizens destroying churches, a lesson in how to make strudel, a Hungarian folk song ("A Man Isn't Made of Wood"), a Communist Party anthem ("Crush to Dust the Rotten Vermin"), and a tender and erotic

lovemaking scene. Amid all this is the story, set in Yugoslavia, of a Hungarian switchboard operator, Izabela (Eva Ras), who falls in love with an Arabian rat exterminator, Ahmed (Slobodan Aligrudic). As their affair blossoms, the happy, playful footage of them together is intercut with

cinema-verite-style shots of a female corpse being extracted from a deep well and the subsequent autopsy. Our fear that this corpse is Izabela is quickly confirmed, and all we can do is await the signs of why and how she died. This, however, seems to concern Makavejev less than the juxtaposition

of scenes and sounds. For example, he places the lovemaking next to documentary footage of the destruction of churches, paralleling (as in his WR: MYSTERIES OF AN ORGANISM and SWEET MOVIE) sexuality with politics. He also shocks his audience into a strange distance by comparing, though less

obviously, the nude body of Izabela lying on her bed with that of the cold corpse lying in the morgue. Makavejev's cinema is very much a dialectic one, though LOVE AFFAIR is a tender, sweet, and ultimately very sad film.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: It is with great economy that Dusan Makavejev directs this 70-minute feature--his second--which contains a love story, a criminal investigation, lectures by both a sexologist (Dr. Aleksandar Kostic) and a criminologist (Dr. Zivojin Aleksic), a short docume… (more)

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