Daisies [Sedmikrasky] | Czech Republic | 1966 | Directed by Vera Chytilova
An exercise in avant-garde cinema that is freshly humorous and accessible, Daisies
is a dark comedy that eschews a traditional narrative for a Dadaist construction of
events. Perpetually dressed in vibrantly corresponding costumes and dark black
eyeliner, Marie and Marie work together to create mischief. Seeing the world ruined
and values worthless, they decide to "go bad." They stage various dinner dates with
stale old men, eat and drink merrily while telling lies, and, in a fast-motion
Chaplinesque bit of slapstick, they hop trains and lose the men. Always looking for
new adventures, the girls get drunk at a nightclub and get kicked out in a grand
physical comedy style. They sit around their apartment and destroy things with a
deadpan whimsy, apathetic to the men professing their love. Pursuing adventure about
town, the two Maries take a dumbwaiter up to a banquet hall and proceed to
delightfully demolish it. Using both black-and-white and color film stock, the girls'
antics are enhanced by innovative special effects and camera tricks by cinematographer
Jaroslav Kucera. Historically a key film in the Czech New Wave movement, Daisies was
banned and director Vera Chytilov?was forbidden to work until 1975.