Yesterday Czech director and screenwriter, Věra Chytilová (often called the “first lady of Czech cinema”) died at the age of 85. She left behind a legacy of 20 feature films. Ms. Chytilová was the first female director to gather attention in her country, and a pioneering contributor to the 1960’s New Wave of Czechoslovakian cinema. Ms. Chytilová was especially controversial because of her very open political views and the experimental nature of her films.

She is perhaps best remembered for her cult-favorite movie,  Daisies (1966) — which was hailed as one of the most anarchist films of all time at its release. And as is the way with anarchist films, Daisies was promptly banned from the public — of course, the feature went on to win the Grand Prix at the Italian Bergamo Film Festival in 1967.

A quirky feminist romp, Daisies features two heroines, both named Marie. It's a philosophical, surreal narrative that plays with a loopy aesthetics — and IMHO the movie can often make you feel like you're on drugs. 

 

 

Fan art by Maureen Kuo

The main characters wreak playful havoc and self-indulge as they claim to be "fixing boredom," making Marie and Marie almost as absurd as the world they inhabit. Daisies most definitely takes a revolutionary jab at the patriarchal ideals of femininity.

 

In celebration of her work and life, I highly recommend you go watch Daisies if you haven’t already! You can read more about Chytilova's work (and this film in particular) here. 

Images courtesy of The New York Times, Tumblr, and Stills from "Daisies"

Tagged in: vera chytilova, obituary, new wave, lady movies, indie cinema, feminist film, daisies, czech republic, criterion collection, Cinema, anarchist film   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.




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