DAISIES (1966) – The Dungeon Review!

The bloody brilliant bat-shit crazy Daisies is unlike anything I have ever seen! Daisies was banned by the Czech authorities whose primary issue was with the film’s food wastage. Director Vera Chytilová was forbidden to work in Czechoslovakia until 1975. Daisies is an anarchistic feminist romp full of excess and destruction and admittedly a lot of food does get wasted. The gals spend their time convincing sugar daddies to buy them meals, sunbathing, cutting each other up with scissors, getting drunk and consuming ghastly amounts of food among other activities. The adventures of Marie and Marie are hi-jinx of the highest order! Chytilová created a visual extravaganza that is truly a masterpiece.

Every single frame of Daisies is beautiful and perfect. Chytilová keeps every minute of the constantly changing visuals interesting. The film changes color tints several times in a segment. There are scenes filmed in black and white and others that are boldly colorful. The Marie’s endless wardrobe becomes part of the environment. Sped up, slowed down, quick cuts, overlaps and countless other techniques are used. The sets and props are unbelievable. Jitka Cerhová and Ivana Karbanová are extremely watchable as Marie and Marie. Neither woman was actually an actress but they are both so natural and appealing. Their antics and machine gun giggles pleased me immensely! The film is a gleeful delight but there is a little dark mixed in with the fun. The ending is decidedly cynical. The special features stated that Chytilová wasn’t intending to make a feminist film. Intended or not the film portrays two very bold and spirited women who clearly believe they are looked upon as objects and engage in unladylike behavior (or at least what I would suspect would be deemed as unladylike behavior in 1966 Czechoslovakia). In one scene the two Maries cut up a series of penis shaped objects. I suppose one could argue that the two Marie’s food choices were completely random. Vera Chytilová obviously has plenty to say and she does so with a ton of imagination. Daisies is beautiful, funny and timeless. Nothing I could say would do Ms. Chytilová’s visuals justice so I included a ton of pictures. You should also check out my two slideshows with music from the film; Jiří Šlitr & Jiří Šust’s Cuckoos and Eva Pilerova’s Drunken Disorderlies. And I created a series of GIFs that I’ll be posting tomorrow. Daisies is one of the best films I have ever seen! It is a film that I will watch over and over again. While everyone may not appreciate Daisies on the same excessive level I do, you can not deny its innovation and masterfulness. Anyone interested in film should see Daisies.

Two brazen young women contemplate their roles in the world; agreeing the world is spoiled the two embark on a series of misadventures. This is Daisies opening dialog:

“I’m like a doll aren’t I?”
“I’m a doll.”
“Do you understand that?”
“Nobody understands anything.”
“It’s us they don’t understand.”

Screenshot from 2013-06-22 14:31:14Screenshot from 2013-06-22 14:29:05Screenshot from 2013-06-22 14:33:30Screenshot from 2013-06-22 14:33:54Screenshot from 2013-06-22 14:34:36

Daisies’ opening credits play over war footage before we are introduced to the Maries. The sunbathing Marie’s move like robots through this black and white segment.

Screenshot from 2013-06-22 14:39:13

Marie and Marie spend a good deal of the film eating. The girls convince several older men to take them to a fancy restaurant where they gorge themselves voraciously. The men always seem to be on their way to board a train.

Screenshot from 2013-06-22 15:20:31

One of their sugar daddies is particularly teary eyed over their parting.

Screenshot from 2013-06-22 15:20:48

We must come up with something better.” They openly mock the foolishness of the weak-willed men.

Screenshot from 2013-06-22 14:47:31The Marie’s get stinky drunk and get their asses tossed out of a roaring 20s themed lounge.

Screenshot from 2013-06-22 15:21:17Screenshot from 2013-06-22 15:22:18Screenshot from 2013-06-22 15:32:27

Marie entertains a seriously smitten butterfly collector. “You’re from another century.” Marie feigns shyness as she covers her nakedness with her suitor’s butterfly displays.

Screenshot from 2013-06-23 16:24:41

The Maries applying a hearty amount of eye makeup.

Screenshot from 2013-06-23 16:28:51Screenshot from 2013-06-29 16:41:27

Chytilová incorporates the Marie’s wardrobe into the films esthetics. This series of shots has a particularly pleasing color palette. One Marie wears a blue dress and the other a green dress. Chytilová shoots blue dress Marie on a green background and green dress Marie on a blue background.

Screenshot from 2013-06-23 16:33:11Screenshot from 2013-06-23 16:34:07

One of Daisies niftiest scene sees the Maries cutting each other up with scissors. One Marie cuts off the other’s arm who in turn cuts off the other’s head. A headless Marie than removes the other Marie’s head. Did you get all that? Just see the damn film! The scene finishes with a sped up collage of cut up Marie fragments.

Screenshot from 2013-06-23 16:37:40

The Maries take a ride in a dumb-waiter and find a hidden treasure!

Screenshot from 2013-06-23 16:55:40

A huge dining room has been set up with a monstrous banquet. Marie admires a food sculpture before the two gluttonously gorge themselves on the buffet.

Screenshot from 2013-06-23 16:58:11

The Maries really love eating!

Screenshot from 2013-06-23 17:05:10

After feasting Marie fashions a curtain into a frock and dances on the table. They could use the exercise after all that eating!

Screenshot from 2013-06-23 17:04:35

Marie and Marie Swinging in the dining room’s chandelier.

Screenshot from 2013-06-23 17:10:57The Maries feel remorse over the wanton destruction they unleashed on the dining room. Wrapped in newspaper and string they return to the scene of the crime to make things right….sort of. “That was quite a job wasn’t it?

Screenshot from 2013-06-23 17:12:20

Screenshot from 2013-06-23 17:15:14

A cynical ending to the girl’s adventures seemed fitting. The Marie’s contemplate being happy. “Are we pretending?” Marie asks. “No.” Marie replies. “After all, we are really happy.”

Daisies

Like every single aspect of Daisies the ending could not have been more perfect. The film concludes with the following: “This film is dedicated to those who get upset only over a stomped-upon bed of lettuce.

Dungeon Rating: 5/5

Directed By: Vera Chytilová

Starring: Ivana Karbanová & Jitka Cerhová

11 Responses to “DAISIES (1966) – The Dungeon Review!”

  1. Aww, I want a friend like Marie.

  2. Holy cats. I haven’t seen this in like 20 or so years and had forgotten ALL about it until reading this post!

    Wow. I got this on a mixed VHS tape of films from a friend who worked in a film lab where all they did when there was no work was go through their huge library and make tapes of stuff for their own collections. I actually gave it (and a bunch of other cool mixed movie tapes) away (D’oh!!) when I moved and needed to clear out some stuff because I was going to a smaller space.

    Thanks for this review – it brought back some fun memories!

    • goregirl Says:

      I used to buy bootleg videos from a couple different places I found in the back of Fangoria magazine. While they were never double features sometimes there would be a part of a Star Trek tv episode or some other tv show at the beginning…or end.

      There really is nothing else quite like Daisies. I don’t know how it eluded me all these years!

  3. This looks like good fun!

  4. This sounds bananas in a good way.

  5. Yeah, I love the shit out of this movie in every way. The sequence where they’re teasing the dude on the phone while eating giant sausages slays me. And the scissor sequence is one of the best things I’ve ever seen in a movie.

    • goregirl Says:

      I have no idea how this film escaped my radar…but it is one of the best things I’ve ever seen!

  6. […] HEAR EVIL. SEE EVIL. SPEAK EVIL. « DAISIES (1966) – The Dungeon Review! […]

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