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74 min.
Vera Chytilová
Drama, Comedy
Rating *
Votes *
13.7% (1:7)
* View IMDb information

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  1. John Milton's avatar

    John Milton

    but the whole film is on YouTube in 8 parts or so, search for daisies 1966, english subs included...

    @Johnnyg: maybe this information helps:


    The unconventional Daisies was the product of an unconventional filmmaker. A former philosophy and architecture student, Chytilová enrolled at FAMU in 1957, the only female in her class. There she discovered a love for improvisation, nonprofessional actors, and cinema verité—anything that rejected the idea of film as an exact science. Daisies incorporates all this and more in a wildly experimental narrative that is considered the movement’s singular feminist statement. Although Chytilová has denied that it was her intention to make a feminist film per se, it’s easy to see why decades of scholarship has made this assertion. The two teenage protagonists, Marie I and Marie II (Jitka Cerhová and Ivana Karbanová, neither of whom had any acting experience), refuse to play by the rules of the patriarchal culture around them, spending the film’s seventy-odd (very odd) minutes tearing up the world: exploiting weak-willed older men, consuming enormous amounts of food and drink, wreaking inebriated havoc, and finally descending into pure annihilation. In one of the film’s most famous sequences, they gleefully cut up a succession of phallic objects (bananas, sausages, bread rolls) with scissors. Chytilová ensures that something unexpected occurs in virtually every shot and edit, juxtaposing images with dissonant sounds, abruptly changing color filters within scenes, and fragmenting many sequences through unmotivated montage.

    On the surface, Daisies’ assemblage of outlandish scenarios enacted by two ferociously antiestablishment figures would seem to mark it as simple anarchic slapstick, like a New Wave Marx Brothers comedy. But Chytilová has called her film “a philosophical documentary in the form of a farce.” The Maries are not merely railing against a society that views them as little more than objects (in the opening scene, Marie II calls herself a panna, which translates as both “doll” and “virgin” in Czech, and the girls play with, and at one point remove, their limbs as though they were the plastic appendages of mannequins); they are also existentially angry. Early on, they decide the world is meaningless, “spoiled,” which they use as justification to spoil themselves. By refusing to cultivate a psychological connection between audience and character, and by confounding any sense of narrative momentum, Chytilová and her screenwriting partner Ester Krumbachová create protagonists who seem to have no future or past. Blank slates, they have been interpreted over the years variously as embodiments of healthy rebellion and the banality of evil. Either way, they are good representations of Chytilová’s belief that “people are primitives and aesthetes at the same time.”

    Though Daisies remains playful to its climactic orgy (a mega food fight), it is ultimately a dark, subversive work, aggressively critiquing those who might find it offensive before they even have a chance to complain: its closing dedication is to people who “get upset only over a stomped-upon bed of lettuce,” over the sounds of firing artillery.

    Unsurprisingly, Daisies was banned (partly on the grounds of food wastage)—the case for many of the era’s most daring works. Chytilová made one more movie in the sixties, The Fruit of Paradise, which was briefly released in 1969, before being pulled from theaters. At this time, the post–Prague Spring authorities were already cracking down on films with even a whiff of subversion. Like many of her fellow directors, Chytilová was blacklisted, and she wasn’t allowed to make another movie until 1976’s The Apple Game. Though she is best remembered for the shock of Daisies, Chytilová has had a long career—as a teacher and as a maker of continually challenging films. In the past decade, her most successful films have included a documentary about the life of her late Daisies collaborator Krumbachová, titled Searching for Ester (2005), and a farcical tale of a psychologist’s daily travails, Pleasant Moments (2006).
    11 years 10 months ago
  2. tommy_leazaq's avatar


    75 minutes of pure fun. 10 years 10 months ago
  3. criscoJovan's avatar


    Beautiful! 11 years 11 months ago
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In 19 official lists

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  19. This movie ranks #1397 in The Criterion Collection
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