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Daisies [DVD] [1966] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Language: Czech
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000060MU6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 230,105 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The Czech New Wave bloomed out of nowhere and was brutally suppressed just as suddenly. After Daisies, Chytilova directed a number of films which were duly banned indefinitely before, tragically, kow-towing to her government's ridiculous censors and softening her approach. That she never left her country as many of her contemporaries did (perhaps most famously Milos Foreman) is both inspiring and sad.

Daisies is a mad little film. It's about two young women who take it in turns to go on dates with rich men. The other then invites herself along also and they proceed to wreak cheeky, anarchistic havoc wherever they go. The uninhibited, slap-dash, try-everything invigoration of Chytilova's direction surpasses anything from Godard or Truffaut. I didn't even know there was a Czech New Wave until I found this. It was a wonderful revelation. The film ends with the girls spectacularly trashing a lavish banquet before swinging maniacally from the chandelier. It's allegorical potency need not be specific: I read it as a simple, wonderful freedom. It deserves to become an instigative tag-line:

"Daisies?"

"Daisies." Cue havoc and hilarity.

I don't know anyone else who's seen this. It deserves more attention. I know the French New Wave was hugely significant and seminal (Chytilova was obviously familiar with it) but many other film movements (the Polish New Wave, for example (See Wajda)) seem neglected by the masses. I wonder how this favouriting of the French movement become as total as it did.
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I saw this film on TV when I was about 15 (about 17 yrs ago!) and have been trying to track it down ever since. I didn't know anything about art house films or foreign films back then, but this film totally captivated me. It was so mad, but in a good way because it represented a desire we might all have at times- to have fun and forget rules for a while. It was so refreshing to see women totally free and silly, and literally messing up the order and pomp of the male business world. If you are feeling serious and want to loosen up, this is the film to see. Just wish they would bring out a region 2 version of the film so I could see it again!
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I disagree with the one star reviewer. That assessment of Chytilova's film-making skills is frankly absurd, so I'm not wasting my time countering those comments.

What is very telling about such a vitriolic attack is the view taken of the two other films that are cited; namely 'Valerie; and her week of wonders' and 'Sweet Movie'. I will comment on those films since so much spite is vented against the supposed weakness of the feminist content in Daisies.

The first is a highly sensual and erotic story of a pubescent girl, some might say titillating, and all drenched in pretty images while the other a visceral naked romp in which the male director finds it necessary, in order to present a 'sophisticated representation of roles' as the review puts it, to strip all the women naked and have them participate in erotic and sexual acts...........

in 'Daisies' however, with a woman directing, the girls are not subject to the male psyche nor a spurious 'sophisticated representation of roles' which requires them to appear naked for our pleasure under the guise of some intellectual pretext. Their self-contained world is not pretty pretty and barely sensual let alone sexual and the characters, through the director, repudiate the predatory male world except on occasions to mercilessly exploit it by having lots of fun.

This certainly makes for a film less appealing to the voyeur but does make for a stunning piece of experimental cinema.

Vera Chytilova just about pulls off one of the most difficult projects in expertly using experimental film making techniques to create a coherent feature length film that is both visually stimulating and entertaining. If that's pretentious, I'm glad.
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I first caught a snippet of this overlooked gem on BBC2 around 20 years ago and it's been conspicuous by its absence from the schedules ever since. A typically loose plot for the period is no impediment to the childlike hedonism that runs through the film as a viewer with an open mind can simply enjoy the anarchic progress of the lead characters without expecting a conventional narrative.
I suppose in retrospect it can be seen as a frivolous product of the Prague Spring, but it does capture a delightfully naive strain of Swinging 60s optimism that was brutally crushed in 1968, one it would have been impossible to convey on screen thereafter. If you like 'Une Femme est Une Femme' or even 'Help!', you may like this...
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Daisies by Chytilová

V'ra Chytilová, like French Agnès Varda, is one of the still universally rare female Czech film directors, especially in the 1960's. By this, I do not mean to imply that female directors are not behaving like directors, but that their choice of topics and view of the world is bound to have, while not necessarly a gender, non- or anti-masculine touch, a certain feminine dimension.

Chytilová is best known for her Czech New Wave film Daisies (Sedmikrásky, 1966), which became also the film that established her international reputation. The film follows the antics of two characters, Marie I and Marie II, who engage in a series of destructive adventures in a surrealist atmosphere. Such techniques, in Chytilova's own words, "restrict [the spectator's] feeling of involvement and lead him to an under-standing of the underlying idea or philosophy."

Though famous for its experimentation in form and content, Daisies is also marked by witty imagery and visual puns, not unlike the work of the Dada artists of the 1920s who pushed the limits of artistic expression with cleverness and anarchic humor. Film historians point out Chytilová's debt to Luis Buñuel and other Surrealists. The inventive and visually striking cinematography is by Chytilová's second husband, Jaroslav Kucera.

Those familiar with Chytilova's background in philosophy discuss the film as nihilistic or existential, while cultural critics see it as a statement against materialism and consumerism in modern society. Others focus on the antics of the two Maries in search of a feminist reading.
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