“We can try anything once!”

I saw the Czech film Daisies, decried by the then-Communist government as “depicting the wanton,” at BAM this week, and found its total wackiness (no better word for it) kind of enthralling.  Here’s a little bit from an essay on the Criterion Collection’s website (they released a box set entitled “Pearls of the Czech New Wave”):

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.”

And here, even more exciting, is a copy of the Daises paper dolls I got at BAM!

There are some excellent clothing moments in the movie. Their bikinis are super rad.

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