Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hypnotherapy: Man is Not a Bird

Covek nije tica/Man is Not a Bird (1965) - Makavejev
Hypnosis session:
Now you are a bird!
That's entertainment!
Milena Bravic
Dusan Makavejev (WR: Mysteries of Organism, Sweet Movie)'s debut feature starts with a hypnotist explaining that there is no such thing as magic. Man is Not a Bird is a multi-layered snapshot of Communist Yugoslavia under Tito. It follows Rudinovic, an old stoic engineer as he arrives in a small mining town, Bor, full of rowdy workers and smokestacks. There he begins a short affair with a young hairdresser (scrumptious Milena Dravic). There isn't much of a plot, as the focus on characters jump around with scenes inside the busy factory, bustling outdoor market, circus, hypnosis show, etc.

Is the hypnosis session a stand in for life under Tito? If it is, Makavejev is not judgmental. However frivolous the workers lives in Bor seem to be, they are handled with warmth and good natured humor. There is a tension btwn seasoned, famed engineer Rudinovic (he likes Mozart) and young, slacking workers. Makavejev seems to tell us, when you lose in love or otherwise, I don't care who you are, you are pretty much the same as the rest of us. We make do with whatever we have. Man is not a bird.

Thanks Ben for lending me this.

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