Daisies, Vera Chytilova

Daisies, Věra ChytilováWords by Billie Jenkins

‘Daisies’ is a glorious tale of two women, Marie I and Marie II, who are as badly behaved as they are enticing. Moving from suitor to suitor immaculately dressed they ooze a heady combination of obnoxious naughtiness and freedom. To summarise it in two words the film is gleefully mischievous. There is a glorious food fight that acts as a grand statement of the women’s utter self indulgenge. Whether it was this personal gluttony, or the radical nature of the women’s lifestyle it is unclear, but the Communist Czechoslovakian government saw it fit to ban the work when it was released in 1966, seeing it a poison to the lives of working people.

Produced by the only female filmmaker of the Czechoslovakian New Wave, Vera Chytilova, it is stylistically brilliant. Experiments with collage and colour bring life to the screen as the two women make something intensely vibrant from a situation where good behaviour meant boredom. Though not particularly nice, their indulgence in hijinks and disregard for the social structures of the places and people they encounter are inspiring. With the help of the comedy format, their rudeness never creates a lack of empathy for the girls, you forgive them every moment they misbehave as their excitement for life overwhelms any negativity. There is the feeling if they are so happy why not let them be free. Although there is a sting in the tail of the whirlwind of luxury on a shoestring your left feeling maybe there is more merit in the ride.

Five thing ‘Daisies’ will leave you wanting to do if your a woman

1. Buy a shift dress in either pastel, gingham or polka dot

2. Eat cream cake like your hungry and you’ve never heard of Nigella Lawson.

3. Dance when you want to, preferably in an overly quiet restaurant so all eyes are on you, rather than shuffle to the darkest corner of the club.

4. Seek out your best friend, misbehaviour is better in twos.

5. Cry to get what you want: they just make it look so easy.

Two things ‘Daisies’ will make you want to do if your a man

1. Date a wild woman

2. Stop paying for dinner, there is such thing as free lunch.

Daisies, Věra Chytilová


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