Made for Hungary' s experimental Bela Bálazs Studio, Tibor Hajas's Self Fashion Show (1976)—in which a cross section of passersby are persuaded to pose for the camera—is a proletarianized version of Warhol screen tests or a diminished take on August Sander's photo-project "People of the 20th Century." The film was shot silent but Hajas added a voiceover, at once reassuring and authoritarian, which addresses his stolid subjects as well as the public: "You don't need to follow alien patterns . . . . You are free . . . . There are no rules . . . . You are the model of your own life . . . . You are a star."

Giving voice to the onetime proponents of an obsolete philosophy, British video artist Phil Collins's 2010 marxism today (prologue) interviews several middle-aged former East German women who, having made their careers as teachers of Marxist-Leninist economics, were compelled, after unification, to live with the notion that, as one puts it, "your entire life was just a mistake." Still, all managed to apply Marxist education to the capitalist world. One retrained as a social worker, while another worked for a computer dating service, and the third (who had written her dissertation on neoliberal economic theory) smoothly transitioned to investment banking.

"The Legend of the Greedy Policeman"
IFC Films
"The Legend of the Greedy Policeman"


Tales From the Golden Age
Various directors
Sundance Selects Opens August 26, IFC Center

Through September 25, New Museum

Olga Egorova makes expert use of Marxist rhetoric in her sad and hilarious Partisan Songspiel (2009). A quartet of Serbia' s newly oppressed (given archetypal status as Disabled Veteran, Romany Woman, Lesbian, and Worker) stage a self-dramatizing performance at the foot of a pedestal upon which their disdainful new oppressors (entrepreneurs, bankers, neoliberal academics) perch. There' s an absurd, tragic dimension found here that is missing from Mungiu's film—perhaps because, unlike Romania, no-longer-extant Yugoslavia had a noble anti-fascist past, a truly lost golden age.

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