Věra ChytilováVěra Chytilová
NH Tit-Bits
20 June 2014
14th T-Mobile NH (Classic): "Daisies" by Věra Chytilová

The best-known film by Věra Chytilová, who passed away this year, is also one of the most outstanding achievements of the Czechoslovak New Wave: provocative and radical, somewhere between the formalistic experiments of Jean-Luc Godard and the surreal anarchy of Luis Buñuel. It is no surprise that the director attracted the ire of the communist authorities. The film opens with alternating shots of working gears and an aerial view of explosions – this is the machinery of a world whose rhythm is determined by violence. The film’s two main protagonists are typical daughters of this world. They are lunatics, terrorists, and tricksters. They engorge themselves, humiliate men, and destroy public property. The pictures in Daisies echo their excesses. Scenes explode with color, black and white are over and over again replaced by a bloody red and eruptions of psychedelic rainbows of color. In one scene, the protagonists, overcome by a desire for destruction and armed with scissors, cut a piece of film into tiny pieces, which then flutter around the screen like patches of color in an abstract painting. (Piotr Mirski)

Věra Chytilová was born (1929-2014) was born in Czechoslovakia. She began her studies in Philosophy and Architecture but did not finish them. She then worked as a model and camera loaderbefore finally managing to get into the Department of Film and Television at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Along with Jiří Menzel and Miloš Forman, among others, she was part of the Czechoslovak New Wave. She referred to herself as "an overheated boiler about to explode" and "a monster under control."

Selected filmography:

1963 O czymś innym / O něčem jiném / Something Different

1966 Stokrotki / Sedmikrásky / Daisies

1970 Owoce rajskich drzew spożywamy / Ovoce stromů rajských jíme / We Eat the Fruit of the Trees of Paradise

1977 Gra o jabłko / Hra o jablko / The Apple Game

1983 Zbyt późne popołudnie Fauna / Faunovo velmi pozdní odpoledne / The Very Late Afternoon of a Faun

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