DVD region 2. Second Run DVD.
paper-thin story on which this film is hung deals with a pair
of Naughty Girls – two teenagers who are apparently (according
to the credits at least) both called Marie – who are dedicated
to spoiling themselves, having reached the sound conclusion that
as the world is spoiled, why shouldn’t they be?
This begins with them gleefully exploiting middle-aged men, who
treat them to expensive meals, only to be dumped on the train
home, and progresses to the girls running riot in a plush restaurant
before climaxing with them destroying a huge banquet. The sensual
pleasures of food here are transformed into a more visceral orgy
of anarchic misbehaviour!
Around this already revolutionary plot, director Vera Chytilova
weaves a gleefully surreal series of images – some improvised
happenings, some bizarre examples of crude but highly effective
camera trickery. The resulting film is one of the most shamelessly
joyous you will ever see. The two girls, seemingly devoid of individual
personalities yet irresistibly bubbly, carry the viewer on a wave
of infectious craziness. The best word to describe this film is
that everyone saw it that was of course, and Daisies
was banned for a year in Czechoslovakia (as it was then), where
such explosions of free expression were not to be taken lightly.
And yes, there is a political, feminist undercurrent to this freewheeling
story of two girls breaking free from the control, the conformity
and the dourness of the society that they (and the rest of the
country) were living under. But to dwell too much on the political
would be to do the film a disservice; while it’s there for
those who want to look for it, you can also – if you wish
– simply enjoy this movie as a happy, crazy, wild and irreverent
film that – like its two heroines – just loves to
misbehave and stick two fingers up to the establishment.
Clearly an influence of Jacques Rivette’s Celine
and Julie Go Boating, and a spiritual sister to fellow
Czech production Valerie
and Her Week of Wonders, Daisies
is sure to be a hit with fans of either of those movies.
The DVD is the best version of the film I’ve seen, and comes
complete with an excellent 53 minute documentary about Chytilova
called Journey and a nicely designed booklet,
adding to the essential nature of this movie..
IT NOW (UK)
IT NOW (USA)