The Cheapy award at the Berlinale was awarded by Cheap Gossip Studio (a Berlin performance collective infused with Los Angeles exiles) to Dusan Makavejev this year. He is (was) a Yugoslavian film director who made WR: Mysteries of an Organism (1971), one of my all time favourite films, others being the Perfumed Nightmare (Philippines, 1977) and McDull, Prince de la Bun (Hong Kong, 2004). WR was shown as part of a tribute to Dusan at Berlin. Dusan, now bent and doddery was present at the screening and while the citation was read out at an informal award ceremoney at the Arsenale Cinema lobby, kept beaming at his wife.
The Citation (courtesy of Marc Siegel):
“DUSAN MAKAVEJEV is a model of joyful, political and aesthetic resistance.
DUSAN MAKAVEJEV’s life and work are marked by a determination to employ whatever narrative and formal strategies he has at his disposal in a struggle for celluloid freedom and shimmery, liberatory desire. Moreover, he does so with humor and joy. For DUSAN MAKAVEJEV recognizes joy, laughter, and erotic desire as political weapons, indeed as tools of resistance, whether one is struggling against pesky, sexless Commies and Capitalies, dour ideologues, or any other sort of institutional stupidity that plagues us all, we good-humored perverts. His movies are sweet with that dark brown taste of intelligent pleasure. They keep us going.
This Award recognizes the singular, but essential talent of hysterical collage, frenzied corporality, and ethical perversion. In other words, this Award acknowledges exceptional aesthetic nourishment in matters of sexuality and politics.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Ruth Fischer CHEAPy Underground über Alles Award for Sexualethik des Kommunismus goes to DUSAN MAKAVEJEV.”
A citation to strive for (the joyfulness part of it anyway). The Eastern European (sorry to lump them together) artists seem able to link sex, politics, resistance and joie de vivre together in a heady mix that that is so much more than a sum of the parts.
Read more about WR here , Criteron has issued a new DVD release