Daisies

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daisies_paperdolls.jpg

(1966, directed by Vera Chytilová)

- inducted 2017 –

“One young woman, played by Ivana Karbanová, wears a flower crown askew on her bob of golden hair. Jitka Cerhová, taller though slightly younger, ties her dark and tangled mane into pigtails. They loaf around in checkered bikinis. Both go by the name Marie. These two best friends, partners in crime, act as anti-heroines in Chytilová’s anarchic farce. They tease and put the squeeze on man after man. They hop from bistro to cabaret then back to a squalid room where they slice up phallic foods and set party streamers aflame. No ruckus will sate their decadent appetites. Not even sundering each other’s limbs with scissors, then snipping apart the very frame that contains them.

“The duo just soldiers on into another comic vignette, their raccoonish eyeliner thickening to resemble domino masks as the film slides toward its grand finale. Rapid-fire montages of padlocks and pinned butterflies punctuate this mishegoss. The soundtrack, unhinged from imagery, might fill with a drum roll or the clack of a typewriter. Scenes in black and white switch to vivid Eastmancolor, another brazen deviation from standard film syntax. Though Daisies may have bloomed from the context of the Czech New Wave, its unruly ethos has reverberated through the subsequent decades. Watching it now, it’s still unpredictable with its explosive burlesque of a narrative. It’s still filthy and feminine and fun.”

~Alice Stoehr

Original title: Sedmikrasky
Principal cast: Ivana Karbanová, Jitka Cerhová
Story by Vera Chytilová
Screenplay by Vera Chytilová, Ester Krumbachová, Pavel Jurácek
Director of photography Jaroslav Kucera
Production designed by Karel Lier
Costume design by Ester Krumbachová
Film editing by Miroslav Hájek
Original music by Jirí Slitr, Jirí Sust
Makeup by Ladislav Bacilek
Sound by Ladislav Hausdorf

Czechoslovakia
Duration: 76 minutes
Languages: Czech
Filmed in black and white and color
Sound mix: mono
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Printed film format: 35mm

Produced by Filmové Studio Barrandov
Released in USA by Sigma III Corp.
Premiered in Czechoslovakia on December 30, 1966
USA release date: October 25, 1967