Daisies / Loft Staff Selects

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A magical mash-up of surrealism, socialism, and sensuality, Vera Chytilová’s legendary slice of ‘60s psychedelic cinema is a still-startling landmark of the Czech New Wave and feminist cinema. The absurdist farce Daisies follows the misadventures of two mischievous young women, who, believing the world to be “spoiled,” embark on a series of wild pranks in which nothing is taken seriously. Temporal, spatial, chromatic, and moral boundaries are up for grabs as the pair of brash hell-raisers (both named Marie) go on a spree – bilking horny men, setting fires, stealing money, shedding their clothes, and stuffing their faces – punctuated by bursts of super-saturated color and culminating in an orgiastic feast/food-fight/fashion-show. Are the heedlessly hedonistic heroines consumerist brats or transgressive rebels? Daisies is too exuberantly anarchic to be fitted into any political pigeonhole, but its aesthetic and social subversiveness is in a class all by itself, and the Czech government even banned it on grounds of “wasting food!” (Dir. by Vera Chytilová, 1966, Czechoslovakia , in Czech with subtitles, 76 min., Not Rated) Digital