Sunday, 4 September 2011


“This film is dedicated to all those whose sole source of indignation is a trampled on trifle”

That statement sets the scene for an unpredictable movie that lacks any conventional narrative and is more like a string of outrageous set pieces. Daisies (1966) directed by Vera Chytilova is one of the key works of The Czechoslovak New Wave, a term used for the early Czech films of the 1960’s. As well as Chytilova the movement included Milos Forman best known for the award winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975).

Daisies involves two uninhibited seventeen year olds both named Marie who decide that because the world is bad then there entitled to be free of all restrictions. One of the best of the set pieces is when looking for food they stumble upon a feast presumably set out for communist leaders. They eat the food, make a mess and destroy the room. It was because of this scene the Czech authorities banned the film!

The movie, which preceded the Prague Spring of 1968, has been described as a madcap and aggressive feminist farce. This movie attempts to dispel the feminist belief that cinema is a “cultural practice representing myths about women and femininity” a criticism mainly directed, as you would expect, against Hollywood films. Although the director explained in an interview in The Guardian in 2000 that she does not believe in feminism per se, but in individualism. "If there's something you don't like, don't keep to the rules - break them. I'm an enemy of stupidity and simple-mindedness in both men and women and I have rid my living space of these traits."

Said to be a major influence on world cinema it’s a refreshingly uncompromising film, an example of a director who’s prepared to take risks. An illustration of something completely different.

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