MAN IS NOT A BIRD. At the beginning we're given a short lecture on sex and then introduced to a very cute switchboard operator, she meets a guy on the street, then we see her corpse being pulled out of a well and taken to the morgue where they do an autopsy (off camera). Next we're back with her on her first date with the man.
Makavejev's style is very unconventional, but absolutely genius. He's all over the place with the story, with pictures and text on the screen, with an almost news footage-style report about rats invading Europe in the 18th century, with a sex expert talking about eggs and giant penis statues and then, most shockingly, the main character suddenly, nearly at the end of the film, turning and directly addressing the audience! And yet with all of these unusual things going on...it all works! How the Hell did he do it?!
As much as I liked MAN IS NOT A BIRD I like LOVE AFFAIR; OR THE CASE OF THE MISSING SWITCHBOARD OPERATOR even more. Makavejev's ability as a filmmaker has grown, the acting is stronger, the editing tighter, the photography is magnificent, the story more engaging and Eva Ras' body just won't stop! LAOTCOTMSO is definitely not for everybody, but the ones who are willing to give it a chance will be in for a treat. Recommended.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Saturday, September 27, 2014
There's more going on than just the relationship between these two and director Dusan Makavejev captures it all beautifully: a worker who gives his wife's dresses to his mistress and the wife in turn beats the whore up in the town market; a singer getting stabbed in a bar brawl; workers stealing copper wire; the rush to get the machinery installed before schedule; a truck driver who's always on the prowl for some fresh trim; a hypnotist convincing people that they are birds, etc. I'm a huge fan of Emile Zola and even though this film was set 80 years after Zola's "Germinal", it reminded me a lot of that novel. Mostly with the interactions between the workers and how they all live in such close proximity that they all know each other business even down to the smallest details.
I enjoyed MAN IS NOT A BIRD. The second half wasn't as good as the first half, but it's still in interesting picture. I really liked the photography. If you like realism and the documentary's of Werner Herzog and Errol Morris then I think you'll dig this as well.
Labels: Criterion Collection