Quick Thoughts: Daisies (1966)
A pair of Czech women decide to, like the world around them, be bad.
Daisies is a 1966 film made by Věra Chytilová that is considered one of the most significant features of the Czech New Wave. The subject matter of this film is primarily social standards as it subtextually critiques the communist authoritarianism that oppressed the Czech people around this era. In following two young women, Marie and Marie, who seek to find meaning in life by rebelling against norms, Daisies then speaks up against strict social standards, violence and hierarchy – particularly from a feminist view point – and has a form to support this. In such, Daisies breaks all logical forms of narrative storytelling with fractured spaces that seem to be without time, a meandering plot and experimental cacophonous editing that serves as a form of intellectual montage.
The aspect of this narrative that was most prominent to me was the depiction of rebellion as an act of liberating joy. We see this throughout the narrative with the two Maries living at a whim, completely oblivious to social conducts as they use men as a form of entertainment and a source of food – which they are always consuming. This insatiable hunger, both literally and metaphorically, seems to imply a starved life in both of these figures, one that fuels their almost anarchistic tirade through life.
With this as the crux of the narrative, Daisies is an articulate exploration of what drives rebellion in an everyday, psychological sense. And for this, I can appreciate this film as one within the Czech New Wave. But, that said, this film, its narrative and characters, didn’t resonate with me very well. Whilst the near-nihilism is understandable and well-established, it had an overriding tone of obnoxiousness and a lack of genuity that I simply didn’t enjoy.
So, to conclude, Daisies is a strong film within its own rights, but unfortunately one I didn’t care much for. However, I’ll leave things with you. Have you seen this film? What are your thoughts?
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