January 18, 2019
1362.) In honor of the death of Buck Henry, I present a very special “strange arthouse artifact” episode. The topic of discussion for this episode, with ample amounts of footage, is the 1972 Yugoslavian short “I Miss Sonia Henie,” which is a series of short vignettes directed by a group of internationally famous filmmakers who were gathered for the Belgrade Film Festival. I will also be showing scenes from a documentary made about the making of the short (!). Among those who contributed bits to the short are Dusan Makavejev, Paul Morrissey, Frederick Wiseman (scripting and directing a fiction film, something he did only twice thereafter), and Buck Henry and Milos Forman who had just made Taking Off and were promoting the film overseas. “Sonia Henie” was an experiment in form (and sexy silliness) in which the participants had to shoot a three-minute vignette in one small apartment, with no camera movement or tricky framing or editing (and, needless to say, with a very small cast). And somewhere in whatever brief sketch that was written had to be the line “I miss Sonia Henie.” (1972 was still technically the Sixties, esp. in international cinema, kiddies….) The result is, of course, a rather wacky mixture of sexual liberation and off-kilter humor, which is “completed” by the Henry/Forman sketch, which finds an inventive way of getting the signature line of dialogue into the proceedings.