W. R.: Mysteries of the Organism (W.R. - Misterije organizma) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

W. R.: Mysteries of the Organism (W.R. - Misterije organizma) Reviews

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June 14, 2015
Strange but brilliant.
October 8, 2014
The life and work of Wilhelm Reich are discussed, and then some communists scream at each other about orgasms and the bourgeois. There is also a singing severed head and some transvestites eating ice cream.
½ April 17, 2014
Superficially it's about sex. But really it's about Yugoslavia being in between America and the Soviet Union, about social democracy being in between capitalism and socialism/communism, about the petty bourgeoisie being in between the capitalists and the proletariat. If this film is anything to go by, then Yugoslavia must have been the worst (the most anarchist, the most decadent) communist (or rather socialist) country--as anti-Stalin communists are the worst communists.
February 19, 2014
I cannot criticize this film for the direction it went; after all, it is intending to mix politics with everything else. Be that as it may, I'm a stupid American who can barely comprehend current American politics, let alone the politics of some other country from 40+ years ago. Most of that went flying way over my head.

The stuff about Wilhelm Reich was interesting, though I got the feeling that this film wasn't intending to instruct on any level because I don't feel instructed at all. So if I had my druthers, trade me weird politics for moar Reich.
½ February 15, 2014
Mistura de documentário e sátira da sexualidade nos EUA, Iugoslávia e União Soviética. Os EUA é mostrado como um espaço livre politicamente, porém, reprimido sexualmente. A Rússia é um espaço reprimido politica e sexualmente, enquanto a Iugoslávia fica no meio termo. A teoria de Wilhem Reich é mostrada de forma caricata, incluindo os objetos para liberar a força misteriosa "orgone". Segundo algumas vozes no filme, a revolução sexual é uma revolução política.
January 4, 2014
Quite possibly the weirdest film I've ever experienced. Part documentary on Reich, the psychoanalyst who invented a box to absorb orgasm-power, & part propaganda film, swaying the populace to embrace free love for the communist machine. Also, lots of Yugoslav cocks waving in the wind. So get naked, learn some shit, & have a big ole o-face.
July 5, 2013
Part documentary about Wilhelm Reich, the radical psychoanalyst and originator of 'orgonomy'; part surreal satire on sexual repression in communist Yugoslavia. Such a disparate film shouldn't really work but it does due to its extraordinary wit and invention, even if it borders on insanity (like W.R. himself did by many accounts). The ending, featuring a decapitated head and a Soviet ice skater singing a ballad set against a snowy landscape, is strangely beautiful. Not a film to be watched in front of the bairns and not everybody's cup of tea but well worth investing some time in.
May 26, 2013
This probably won't change your opinion on Wilhelm Reich, Stalin, or transvestites, but it's certainly refreshing.
February 22, 2013
My second film to see by Serbian provocateur Dusan Makavejev (the first being Sweet Movie), W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism is a thoroughly engaging and original blend of documentary and fictional cinema that simultaneously focuses upon the life of Wilhelm Reich (W.R.) and explores the nature of revolution in both sexual and socialist senses. W.R. is a film about freedom: freeing ourselves and freeing society. However, it is also a film about our ideas of freedom get perverted in different ways: these different perversions of freedom are represented by both the supposedly democratic freedom of the U.S. and the supposedly communist freedom of the U.S.S.R. The film paints both as totalitarian regimes that restrict and oppress individuals by twisting the ideologies of democracy and communism into what Marx would have called false consciousness. At the heart of Makavejev's film are the theories of Reich, who believed that we could liberate ourselves through orgasmic energy, a kind of energy that liberates from the ego and from the society that forces repression on us. Reich provides an interesting figure because he fled Europe to escape the totalitarian regimes that arose there only to meet with similar discrimination in the United States, where his books were burned in true Fahrenheit 451 style.

Featuring graphic sex, documentary footage, and surrealistic imagery, W.R. is a constantly engaging, funny, riveting, and always thought-provoking film that blurs the line between genres and shows the line between seemingly opposed ideologies is not as clear as it might seem.
February 18, 2013
Another one of those strange films that's mocking societal norms in the form of many different genres, but still remaining a conglomerated mess of strangeness.
½ February 11, 2013
The excesses of the political right & left get skewered in the bizarre documentary about sexual politics and the politics of sex
February 3, 2013
Very interesting and funny movie. Must have had some influence on Kusturica as well.
½ September 17, 2012
A Yugoslavian-American film from 1971, it's really a product of its time: a documentary on the controversial, sex-positive psychologist Wilhelm Reich, it seeks to marry communism with free love by way of a surreal montage. It's a pretty frustrating exercise, at times boring, at times thought-provoking. I'm tempted to say that it's dated, except that some of the things it has to say about sex are still ahead of its time.
August 31, 2012
Ah, those were the days. When you could have films about discredited psychoanalysts with weird film collages, and half of it be some story about a Soviet ice skater meeting a couple of firebrand revolutionaries, and the other half be a documentary about Wilhelm Reich...and have a few performance artists illustrate parts of Reich's philosophy by getting up to no good? One of the oddest films I've seen in many a long day, and I really enjoyed it.
½ August 7, 2012
An interesting film about love, non-conformity, and joy. It is a brilliant and some what funny look at government control and breaking out to voice an opinion. It has a gripping narrative and ideal look at sex, freedom, and liberty. The film was banned in countries due to it's "pornographic" nature. Well sure there are moments of strong graphic sex/nudity but it doesn't ruin the movie. There is a particularly weird sequence where a woman is at an apartment complex preaching to a large crowd to listen to her, suddenly cutting to her roommate is having sex with a guy. It's odd and a bit out of place but it is kind of funny. This is an interesting piece that has a lot of deep feelings but it sure is a movie I wasn't sure about and I am glad to say it is good.
June 26, 2012
If there was any film that could be described as a film collage, this would be it. This mixture of fiction, documentary, interview, sex, comedy, and then some is one of the most original films ever made. Whereas this experimental exercise into the thought of Wilhelm Reich might be off putting to some,if you continue to watch you're going to have a great time. While this is a weird film, at no point does this film become boring and manages to stay nice and fresh. This film takes the theory of montage to the complete next level and pushes it as far as it can go into one of the greatest films ever made. It's worth every minute.
½ May 9, 2012
Something about Utopian sex cults
Super Reviewer
May 7, 2012
Dusan Makavejev's "W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism" simply defies classification. Perhaps it's more of a "think piece" than anything belonging to a standard film genre.

"W.R." refers to the controversial, possibly demented psychologist Wilhelm Reich. And most of the film's 84 minutes are devoted to promoting his ideas, in ways both subtle and explicit. Sometimes, very explicit.

The first 25 minutes are almost a straightforward documentary about Reich's life and work. For the movie's purposes, the key details are his Marxist politics and a belief in sexual ecstasy as a central regulator of one's health and stability. Part of the latter theory is his dubious focus on a ubiquitous, blue-tinted energy which he named "orgone." He even suggested that replenishing the body's orgone levels would cure cancer. He invented two notorious devices for channeling this precious force: the cloudbuster (a series of sky-aimed pipes which allegedly could produce rainfall) and the orgone accumulator (a person-sized booth lined with layers of wood and metal). Eventually, Reich's ideas became so contested that the U.S. government actually destroyed many of his books and contraptions. He died in 1957.

The manifesto of "W.R." arrives early: "Comrade lovers, for your health's sake, f*ck freely." The remaining scenes cut between multiple people who generally follow this principle. The Fugs' Tuli Kupferberg walks the streets dressed like a soldier, bellowing mock-military rhetoric while waving a toy gun. Professional plaster-caster Nancy Godfrey takes a mold of a young man's erection (yes, the film shows hard penises). A glittery drag queen eats ice cream with his lover and talks about his first fling. An artist discusses painting portraits of people masturbating. Women writhe in feigned sexual heat as cathartic therapy. There's also some simulated stock footage of Joseph Stalin. But the largest chunk of time is devoted to two female radicals who live together and stridently preach the ways of Marxist free love. One of them is frequently nude, and even has what appears to be genuine intercourse onscreen. The girls attend an ice-skating performance with an amusing Communist slant and end up luring a handsome Russian skater back to their lair. This subplot has a bizarre, unexpected conclusion which arguably does not fit the movie's themes so well, but rest assured that the skater winds up crooning a quite lovely folk song.

The film's shambling structure is somewhat charming but mostly irksome and, to make matters worse, I couldn't parse at least a dozen lines due to white subtitles being laid over light-colored imagery. Meanwhile, the opening credits waste a perfectly good egg.
February 16, 2012
More fun and enjoyable on a high scale of camp than sweet movie. Nothing makes sense but in the world of avant garde dose it really need to? Very funny.
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