Valerie & Her Week of Wonders [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Top Customer Reviews
And Lubis Fiscer's perfect music is some of the most beautiful ever committed to film.
These reviews may be for the same film, but often they are for different DVD productions from different countries. These DVD productions can vary greatly depending on the quality of the source material.
So, firstly, let me state that my comments relate to the Second Run version in the UK.
I have two points.
1] The print source is pristine and looks absolutely magnificent, so if you read anything to the contrary, it's from a different DVD label.
2] The film is not cut, it is entire and complete. It's amazing that confusion, or should I say a lack of insight, over the narrative structure can lead to several paragraphs of wholly unfounded, ignorant and elaborate assertions about the films length, it's fate and supposed damage.
So make sure you are reading a review for the actual DVD version that you are thinking of buying.
The film is 1hr 15mins long, which I think is an ideal length to introduce someone unaccustomed with this sort of cinema. I find that films of this ilk can sometimes be quite lengthy, sadly putting off new audiences at a glance that may enjoy them, if they only had a tiny push to delve into parts unknown. The short length, should not be underestimated as a selling point.
A great release from the Second Run DVD label, as they throw out into the market this little known gem of haunting macabre and unsettling eroticism. A film without borders or restraints that leaves you exhausted with it's beauty, pace and ideas. There's nothing else like it I've seen, and if there is I'd REALLY like to know about!
Valerie discovers the Nosferatu-style vampire revealing himself in male authority figures in her life; with the help of Eagle, her boyfriend/brother and archetypal "trickster" character and her magical earrings, she then has to confront the betrayal in her beautiful, pure grandmother's secret plan to use her as a sacrifice to the vampire to immortalise the grandmother and return her to her youth.
IMHO the film has that "bright but eerie" atmosphere of another (though very different in storyline) film of the same era, the Australian movie Picnic at Hanging Rock. A compelling adult fairy tale.
I suppose “Valerie” (1970) was a belated product of the Czech New Wave but it comes after the Prague Spring / Russian invasion. It was probably too surreal for the commissars & censors to bother with. In the West it became a cult favourite in the days when people smoked illicit substances at late night screenings in indie cinemas.
Valerie is the young heroine, she has her first period but fortunately she’s got these magic ear-rings, however everyone in her rustic village seems to be lusting with nature or turning into vampires. I hope that makes the plot clear. It must be something to do with that favourite 60s theme: “a young girl’s sexual awakening.” It’s quite effective in conjuring a sense of anxious adolescent reverie in which everything familiar becomes erotic or strange or both at the same time.
The film is structured by extreme montage, which is all over the place & makes Nic Roeg look moderate. It’s beautifully shot and extremely picturesque. This DVD transfer is from a scratchy print but maybe that adds to the charm / ambience. The DVD is put out by a company “Redemption” specializing in “gothic erotic horror.” No extras other than trailers for other “Redemption” films, judging by which they seem to be aiming at a Marilyn Manson market. I can’t imagine either goths or S/M types (or horror fans) finding much of interest in “Valerie”. However the excellent pop band Broadcast did base their “Ha Ha Sound” album around this film, so it clearly does appeal to some contemporary cult music/film fans.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
C'est vraiement un film merveilleux et mademoiselle Schallerovna est la plus innocemment enchantante -telle pure joie/This is truly a wondrous movie and Miss Schallerovna is most... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Preman dello Russo
Is possible to understand why the Czechoslovak cultural authorities have no seen the movie in favourable light - as its child pornography fantazie is difficult for Czech general... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Zdenek Hanzlik
Arrived promptly and as stated. And boy what a film! I had the Redemption version, but this remaster really does the film justice. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Sid
This film is just so magical and brilliant. I didn't know anything about it when I bought it and when I finished watching it, I was simply blown away by just how beautiful this... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Anonymous
: this is the best film I have literally ever seen well I do have other favs to but this is such a beautiful film so worth the money if you are importing it. Read morePublished on 20 July 2014 by Stefanie Allen
very good transfer of one of the best Czech films ever made. a quality release which includes a new interview with the lead actress. highly recommendedPublished on 30 April 2014 by DM
First of all it is not common to have a so young character play the main role in an erotic film. Nudity is not its main content but something rather scarce. Read morePublished on 10 Feb. 2011 by Afonso
I purchased this film on the strength of still images and reviews I found on line and I have to say, it was not quite what I expected, especially from my experience of other Czech... Read morePublished on 12 Nov. 2010 by eligius