Finally got around to watching Vera Chytilova’s 1966 film, Daisies after it sat languishing in the Netflix queue. The fact that it was banned, and that Chytilova was the Czech New Wave’s only female director may be reason enough for some to give it a watch. Others will be tempted by the prospect of 74 minutes of two girls - convinced that the world is going bad so they should, too - dive headlong into self-indulgence, manipulation and destruction. But let’s face it. We like gorgeous things, and Daisies is filled with eyesweet symbolic imagery.
Sure, there’s new wavey existential boredom and vague dialogue. But because the whole romp is bracketed by war footage, you get the feeling that it’s not just a movie about young people doing young people things. They are so aware of being young that their carefree attitudes seem forced, as if they know their days are numbered.
“Can’t you smell it?”
“How volatile life is!”
Some choice stills:
The world’s going bad so we’re gonna go bad, too…
…and so she gets slapped from the previous segment into a field of daisies…
…with an impossible apple tree.
Oh. Were you trying to commit suicide by leaving the gas on? Because you forgot to close the window. Now who’s gonna pay the gas bill?
Teasing the pianist.
We’re bored. Let’s go burn stuff at home.
A different hue of boredom.
Sending themselves up in a dumbwaiter to their last supper.
…then conscience-stricken. So they try to undo what they’ve done while clad in newspaper. If we work hard, we’ll be happy. Right?
The New York Times has a good write up.