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The Essentials: Daisies (1966)

After realizing that all world is spoiled, Marie and Marie are committed to be spoiled themselves. They rip off older men, feast in lavish meals and do all kinds of mischief. But what is all this leading to?
(NR, 76 min.)
Original title: Sedmikrásky


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

7:00 PM

This monthly series showcases essential films everyone should see on the big screen.
The Essentials series is Free for Members.

Maybe the New Wave’s most anarchic entry, Věra Chytilová’s absurdist farce follows the misadventures of two brash young women. Believing the world to be “spoiled,” they embark on a series of pranks in which nothing—food, clothes, men, war—is taken seriously. Daisies is an aesthetically and politically adventurous film that’s widely considered one of the great works of feminist cinema.

Starring: Ivana Karbanová, Jitka Cerhová, Marie Cesková
Director: Vera Chytilová
Languages: Czech
Genre: Comedy

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"As subversive as it is hilarious."

— Kate Muir, Times (UK)

"It is so cool, weird, and fun... A statement against the violence in this world."

— Christy Lemire, FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles)

"One of the great outpourings of cinematic invention in an age of over-all artistic liberation."

— Richard Brody, New Yorker

"Daisies has not dated one iota: 50 years later, it remains startling, fearless, and utterly unclassifiable."

— Girish Shambu,

"The playful, anything-goes experimentation of Daisies, with its psychedelic onslaught of coloured filters and fragmented editing, made it the most formally vibrant and daring film of the Czech New Wave."

— Carmen Gray, BFI

"Chytilova understands the feminine decorum expected of women in Czech society, and she undermines it at every turn... Irrespective of the film's political specifics, it's this rebellious spirit that feels so fresh."

— Christina Newland, Little White Lies

"My favorite Czech film, and surely one of the most exhilarating stylistic and psychedelic eruptions of the 60s, this madcap and aggressive feminist farce by Vera Chytilova explodes in any number of directions."

— Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

"Brace yourself for some of the most exuberant and disjunctive Pop Art imagery ever put onscreen, including scenes in which the scissors-happy hedonists shred not only objects and each other but the movie itself."

— David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture

"The Czech director Vera Chytilová's second feature, 'Daisies,' from 1966... is one of the great outpourings of cinematic invention in an age of over-all artistic liberation—and the revolutionary value of imagination is the film's very subject."

— Richard Brody, The Hollywood Reporter

"All manner of flora—along with Godardian color shifts, out-of-place sound effects, unexpected montages and anachronistic shooting styles—flourish in Daisies, a cherry bomb of Czech surrealism lobbed two years before the Prague Spring. Daisies remains a potent agit-freak-out—flower power laced with poison."

— Bem Kenigsberg, Time Out

"It wasn't only the best experience that I had all year, but maybe the best film that I saw in 2016 for the first time. There was a sensual appeal to seeing the colors and the performances in the small room, hearing the projector noisily advancing through the reels, but also about the film itself and how in my mind it instantly made me think of, above all, the New Waves of Cinema and their relation to the Industry of Cinema."

— Jaime Grijalba, Mubi

"This is cinema at its most joyful and unfettered. Consider, for instance, the scene in Daisies in which a grey steel train track suddenly bursts with colour, its rails multiplying then merging again, its sleepers speeding away from the camera as if they were extras in a filmed futurist poem. Like so many of the beautiful moments in Daisies, it does not advance a narrative or argue a point – it is anarchy for its own sake."

— David Heslin, Sense of Cinema