“Le Muscle de L’amour” (“The Love Muscle”)

Vojislav Stanojovic was one of the brightest early lights of the French New Wave, but unfortunately the one who’s work has weathered the passage of time worse than that of anyone else.  For reasons too extensive to go into here, all of his work prior to 1979 ended up stored in a brothel in Nice, France, where it was destroyed in a fire. His 1980s and 1990s work is better preserved, but generally considered to be somewhat inferior to the manic inventiveness of his earliest films.

His career was much like that of Orson Welles, in that he had an incendiary relationship with movie studios, an endless parade of troubled productions, abandoned projects, and just plain bad luck. Unlike Welles, however, he was almost obnoxiously prodigious, and managed to leave behind an oeuvre of more than 200 films in varying formats, even though all but 22 of these have been lost.

Recently, however, some of his work has begun to resurface, such as this early experimental short film, which is lyrical in its simplicity, and yet manages to convey a deep political message about the realpolitik of the day without coming across as preachy or overwrought.

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