Comedy / Drama

IMDb Rating 7.4 10 7,808


Downloaded 8,080 times
April 3, 2019


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629.83 MB
23.976 fps
74 min
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1.2 GB
23.976 fps
74 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by loganx-2 10 / 10 / 10

Nothing Comes Close

One of the most vibrant and fun art house films you are ever likely to see. Vera Chytilova was merging feminism, nihilism, psychedelic color filters, collage aesthetic, and silent film slapstick into a one of a kind film about two young girls named Marie who decide to self destruct, and be just as wicked as the world. They con men into buying them lunch and ditch them at train stations, get drunk in posh nightclubs, set their beds on fire, and lay siege to whole banquets(this latter bit got the film and the director into a lot of trouble with the Soviet Czech government for "wasting food"). Anyway this is an energetic and vibrant film as you're likely to find anywhere, and unlike so many great euro art films, this is as fun to watch as it is think about afterwords. I've shown this movie to a lot of people and I've never had a complaint, it clocks in at just over an hour, so if you've got the time, go for it. It's a one of kind experience(in fact the worst part of this movie is the cover).

Reviewed by the red duchess 7 / 10 / 10

A rare female voice from the Czech New Wave.

The opening of 'Daisies' features a montage of two subjects very familiar to 1966 Eastern Bloc film audiences: work and war, as shots of an industrial machine alternate with views of rubbling city from an airplane bomber's point of view. These are masculine subjects in a very masculine culture. Or they seem to be. The machine features a circular mechanism, and represents repetition, but also productivity, and might be said to represent female principles, whereas the war footage is of pure destruction. The heroines of 'Daisies' embody both these gender-specific realms, and manage to create something new. They are idle, but, like George Costanza, their indolence depends on relentless invention. They are destructive, but out of the destruction they produce something new. 'Daisies' was a product of the Czech New Wave, but seems a million miles away from its most famous contemporaries, the films of Menzel and Forman. These latter, though liberal and anti-totalitarian, were artistically conservative - deliberately humanist works, where 'real', psychologically plausible characters exist in 'real' places, and every narrative progression makes logical sense. If they seem 'timeless' to us now, it is because they didn't truly engage with their own times. And, of course, they were male. Where they seem closer to the 19th century novel, or classic Hollywood cinema, Chytilova's peers are the great European modernists, Godard, Paradjanov, Makajev, Rivette, or the plays of Ionesco. Where Forman and Menzel framed their illusions of realism in formal coherence, Chytilova revels in formal instability. These aren't psychologically plausible characters in a cause-and-effect universe. We first meet the two Maries after the opening credits, and their automaton gestures, with accompanying sound effects, continue the movement of the machine. The plot basically consists of the girls trying to chat up old men who'll feed them, but what they really do is make a nonsense of plot. The recurring motif is the posy of roses worn by Marie II, and thrown by her to further the story - we remember the nursery rhyme 'a ring a ring of rosies, a pocketful of posies, a tishoo, a tishoo, we all fall down'. And everything falls down here, in a game where the rules have splintered and fragmented. The film mixes monochrome, colour, and unstably tinted scenes. Sequences that begin 'sensibly' are broken down, by slapstick, changes of register, 'impossible' changes of location or physics, or are turned from natural scenes into the robotic movements of a clockwork toy going out of control. This disruption has a theoretical point - in one scene, the girls find their bodies cut up as they find their identities dissolved by conflicting desires, social expectations and representations. In another, they wander around a dream space, wondering why people pay no attention to them, realising that 'logically', they mustn't exist, because Western culture has no place for them. Just as they parody the notions of work and war (in the climactic food orgy, martial army music soundtracks a cake fight), so these sprites play with and destroy the assumptions of Western humanism, its claims to adequately represent 'reality', especially in a time of such bewildering, radical change, as in the 1960s. They do to cinema what Ionesco did to literature, cut it into shreds. The whole thing plays like parody Godard, with Marie II as Anna Karina, with meaningful conversations about love accompanied by the girls cutting up sausages and bananas: the butterfly sequence is a wicked lampoon of 'Vivre sa Vie'. Where Godard's heroines remained fixed and stared at, the two Maries laugh, look, escape, see their frame and break it, insist on their body as something more than an object, something they can play with themselves. Not even the heroines' liberating subversivess is fixed - their mindless appetite is punished as often as their formal iconoclasm is celebrated. But for all its theoretical rigour, 'Daisies' never sacrifices its sense of humour - I first saw it when I was ten, and loved it for its slapstick fun, its narrative unpredictability, its playful soundtrack, and its tireless visual invention. I still love it now.

Reviewed by ThurstonHunger 7 / 10 / 10

Putting the She in Shenanigans?

To take this film way out of context, I've got to believe that nine out of ten Miranda July fans would enjoy this film made in 1966 well before Little Miss Moviola was born. Indeed, I would recommend this film for anyone in the mood for a non-linear romp. The film is a cut-up, not just comical...but even as sort of visual equivalent of Brion Gysin's dreammachine. In particular there is a scene with scissors that was captivating, not in being a "cutting edge" special effect, but in embracing the hands-on art-for-art sake editing. Through out the film Colors come and go, blossoming and wilting like the "Daisies" of the title. Or perhaps "Daisies" are cited for their ability to sprout up under peculiar conditions. An antidote to the bummer that face trummerflora in the midst of any upheaval. That director Vera Chytilova was doing this under the watchful, and at best blind, eye of Comrade Censor, I think can attribute to the film's non-linear approach. Perhaps part defense-mechanism, perhaps part lyrical lysergic reaction to the disciplined times, the film surely wants to defy something, but settles for defying classification. Ironically, that might be what makes these well cut "Daisies" fresh to this day. A silent film with sound. A black and white film that bursts into colors. I went in knowing nothing about the "Czech New Wave" and in now reading around, it seems this is the wrong film from which to build a center about. I still know nothing, but I am at least intrigued. Indeed, I was certain one of the two main Marie's was the filmmaker herself. Wrong! The fact that Chytilova made this when she was 36 or so is almost as impressive as making it in the political climate of the time. The film is extremely playful, and the actresses deserve much praise that has heretofore been lacking. If you enjoyed the film, and clearly I did while others at IMDb did not, a key is that there is something about the two leads, beyond their costumes that snares our attention. Although I do think garlands and veils should find themselves into more femme's fatal fashion... Oh and since I'm older than this film, I kept seeing the two actresses as Carol Burnett and maybe Joanne Worley?!?! Any ways the two seem to be truly delighting themselves, and one wonders if some of the madness was improvised on the spot. Or were they really just puppets as the initial scene suggests?? Anyways, this film is as artful as it is ambiguous. I was enjoying my modern-day interpretation, knowing full well that it was wrong. That interpretation is that women have replaced their sex drive with a food urge, but must leverage the less evolved male's sex drive to satisfy their advanced needs. And again, I confess to crimes against the state and more importantly the film, I *know* I am wrong. Stamping my own ideas on the fragile frames of the film. Similarly, the flower-power of the 60's in the US could pollinate the film and be seen a diatribe against that which is drab. But again, that appears to be all hippy, and none too hip to the intention. The film maker, in a 1975 letter addressed to "Comrade President" (her phrase for Gustav Husak) wrote "Daisies" was a morality play showing how evil does not necessarily manifest itself in an orgy of destruction caused by the war, that its roots may lie concealed in the malicious pranks of everyday life. I chose as my heroines two young girls because it is at this age that one most wants to fulfill oneself and, if left to one's own devices, his or her need to create can easily turn into its very opposite." By the way, the full letter was on the DVD. I don't know, I still think this is a film that begs to be taken out of context...and certainly plucked off of dusty shelves and seen by many today. Show it to kids, I bet they'll laugh at this like they would at "Laurel and Hardy" or "Buster Keaton." 7/10 Thurston Hunger

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