Combustible Celluloid Review - Daisies (1966), Vera Chytilová, Vera Chytilová, Julius Albert, Jitka Cerhová, Marie Cesková, Ivana Karbanová, Jan Klusák
Combustible Celluloid
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With: Julius Albert, Jitka Cerhová, Marie Cesková, Ivana Karbanová, Jan Klusák
Written by: Vera Chytilová
Directed by: Vera Chytilová
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: Czech with English subtitles
Running Time: 76
Date: 12/30/1966

Daisies (1966)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Flower Girls

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Daisies starts out like a bad 1960s student art film, but its colorful anarchy grows on you. Director Vera Chytilová tells this loosely-knit story of two young women who decide that the world has gone bad and so they might as well too. They wander around trying to get into trouble any way they can, from stealing corn from a farmer's field and littering the ground with shuckings, or breaking into a banquet hall and having a food fight. Chytilová's style is like a scrapbook, moving from surreal to cartoonish with carefree aplomb. Daisies was banned for some time, but now it can be seen on the Criterion Collection's superb 2022 Blu-ray. The new restoration comes with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack, and a commentary track by scholars Daniel Bird and Peter Hames. We also get a new interview with film programmer Irena Kovarova, a 2002 documentary on Chytilová, another doc about Chytilová and her regular collaborators, two short films by Chytilová, A Bagful of Fleas and Ceiling (1962), and a trailer. Carmen Gray provides the liner notes essay.

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