Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator ★★★★

The intervals with sexologists, criminologists and coroners will make it hard not to think of Rocky Horror at times, but this earthy, off-kilter case study of the " modern" (1967) city girl in, maybe Sarajevo?, is very much its own thing. Eva Ras is so adorable that today they'd cast her as Supergirl, while Slobodan Aligrudnic has a sweet, undernourished charm of his own. What stole the film for me, though, was the setting, a city beyond the Iron Curtain at the height of that era, strewn everywhere with construction debris, way more apparent capitalism than I expected, but still coping with ancient problems like epic rat infestations, tiny medieval lodgings and absurd human jealousy. I especially love Ahmed's weird water tower of a bachelor pad, a live near complete with a soundtrack of live communist rallies in the streets below. I think I need to watch the rest of Makafajev's work soon! He's got a weird talent for juxtaposing bizarre stuff together ( like in this one, when at one point our heroine shows off her strudel making skills to the tune of the triumphal march from Verdi's Aida) that is very much my kind of thing.