Dušan Makavejev

Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator

Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator

In outline, this is the story of the tragic romance between a young telephonist (Eva Ras) and a middle-aged rodent sanitation specialist (Slobodan Aligrudic) in Belgrade. Yet in Dusan Makavejev’s manic hands, this second feature becomes an endlessly surprising, time-shifting exploration of love and freedom. Featuring interludes of interviews with a sexologist and a criminologist, as well as some of the most elegant dramatic filmmaking of the director’s career, Love Affair, based on a true incident, further demonstrated Makavejev’s adeptness at mixing and matching genres, and his odd, sophisticated humanism.

Film Info

  • Yugoslavia
  • 1967
  • 68 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.66:1
  • Serbo-Croatian

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 18: Dušan Makavejev—Free Radical

Dušan Makavejev—Free Radical

DVD Box Set

3 Discs


Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator
Eva Ras
Slobodan Aligrudic
Ruzica Sokic
Miodrag Andrić
Dr. Alexsandar Kostic
Dr. Zivojin Aleksic
Dušan Makavejev
Aleksander Krstic
Dušan Makavejev
Assistant directors
Branko Vucicevic
Assistant directors
Zelimir Zilnik
Aleksandar Petkovic
Katarina Stojanovic
Art direction
Vladislav Lasic
Dušan Aleksić


Eclipse Series 18: Dušan Makavejev— Free Radical
Eclipse Series 18: Dušan Makavejev— Free Radical
Man is Not a Bird: Flying Away The term “independent cinema” has lost its punch in recent years, from overuse and misapplication. One need only look to the films of Dušan Makavejev for a reminder of its true meaning. This Serb, who lived and wor…

By Michael Koresky

Tim Forbes’s Top 10
Tim Forbes’s Top 10

Tim Forbes is chairman of Forbes Digital and a former independent producer and screenwriter.


Dušan Makavejev

Writer, Director

Dušan Makavejev
Dušan Makavejev

“Narrative structure is prison; it is tradition; it is a lie; it is a formula that is imposed,” Dušan Makavejev once said. The Serbian filmmaker, who rose to cinematic fame or infamy (depending on who you ask) in Communist Yugoslavia in the sixties and early seventies, believed in breaking all the rules. Through collage and juxtaposition, Buñuelian absurdity and sexual confrontation, Makavejev freed narrative cinema from all oppressive norms. Influenced as much by Mickey Mouse cartoons and Laurel and Hardy two-reelers as he was by Russian silent films and 1930s British documentaries, Makavejev constructed unpredictable, genre-defying works that opposed the bureaucracy and dogmatic teachings of the socialist state. Man Is Not a Bird (1965), his startling debut, sets a fictional character drama in a real mining complex, and is filmed with gritty realism. His subsequent films are fiction-documentary hybrids as well, and include Love Affair, or The Case of the Missing Switch­board Operator (1967); the whimsical found-footage farce Innocence Unprotected (1968); and the astonishing WR: Mysteries of the Organism (1971), his international breakthrough, which ultimately resulted in his indictment for being a “dissident Marxist” and his 1973 exile from his home country. He continued provoking moviegoers the world over, however, making waves with the controversial Sweet Movie (1974) and the art-house hits Montenegro (1981) and The Coca-Cola Kid (1985).