Happy Birthday to Master Provocateur Dusan Makavejev

Dusan Makavejev is one of our greatest and most important filmmakers. Born in Serbia on this day in 1932, he studied psychology before he began making films. His initial efforts trod the boundary line of social and political acceptability, mainly due to their sexual content. With 1971's W.R. MYSTERIES OF THE ORGANISM, he obliterated that line, with extremely frank sexual content and a playful, satirical approach to politics that went right over the heads of even the relatively liberal Yugoslavian government. His next film, made in Canada was the legendarily profane and divisive SWEET MOVIE (1974), which is very likely the most graphic and transgressive film to play in international arthouses. As an international exile he continued making movies in Western Europe and elsewhere

Here is a multipart interview with Makavejev in which he ruminates about his aesthetic choices and beliefs. He seems like a nice man, and not at all like a bomb-throwing anarchist, except for a slight twinkle in his eye.

An excerpt:
"Creative people don't need to know exactly what they are doing. I'm not saying that God is talking through them but something is talking through the artist. I think that the work of the artist is a form of art. You create an interplay between certain forms. Now, is it characters in a story, through the action, or is it interplay between background and foreground... , is it people in landscapes, close-ups and wide shots, zooms, movements? But it's all formal games. It's all formal work, what you do. Of course you always claim that, 'OK, this is the story I want to say' but the story's always a pretext, the story's always a trigger, the story is something that will help you and the crew to get into creative work."