BY AUSTIN BURBRIDGE. LOS ANGELES (CINEMA MINIMA) — Filmmaker Věra Chytilová 1929 ✠ 2014 directed the exuberant satire DAISIES | SEDMIKRÁSKY (1966), a high-water mark of the Czechoslovak New Wave of the 1960s. The film’s insouciant contempt for authority; its feminist mirth, and bold treatment of sexual politics — not to mention its radical disregard for cinematic convention — outraged Czechoslovakia’s Communist overlords; they banned the film, and blacklisted her, preventing her from working as a filmmaker for six years.
She resumed feature filmmaking with the charming and numinous FRUIT OF PARADISE | OVOCE STROMŮ RAJSKÝCH JÍME, which was among the official selection in competition at the 1970 Cannes film festival. Among her later features are THE APPLE GAME | HRA O JABLKO (1977), THE INHERITANCE, OR FUCKOFFGUYSGOODDAY | DEDICTVÍ ANEB KURVAHOSIGUTNTAG (1993), and her final film, PLEASANT MOMENTS | HEZKÉ CHVILKY BEZ ZÁRUKY (2006).
Věra Chytilová’s career was singular: She graduated from the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague at the age of forty-three, the only woman in the class. She elected to remain in her country after the Soviet Union invaded it in 1968, unlike many of her colleagues, such as Miloš Forman, Ján Kadár, and Ivan Passer, who fled to the West. Her contribution to cinema is exceptional. Viewing her films will continue to be essential to the formation of filmmakers for as long as cinema exists. REQUIESCAT IN PACE
- Věra Chytilová dies at age of 85 — Obituary in the Prague Post
- Věra Chytilová filmography in the Internet Movie Database
DAISIES | SEDMIKRÁSKY
- DAISIES in the Criterion Collection — “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 æsthetically and politically adventurous film that’s widely considered one of the great works of feminist cinema.”
- Pearls of the Czech New Wave, by Michael Koresky, featuring an appreciation of DAISIES
- The films of women are always the most threatening to a regime, a short sketch of DAISIES and its director, by Tucker Cummings
- A 1968 review by Claire Clouzot of Chytilová’s DAISIES in Film Quarterly Vol. 21, Nº 3, pp. 35–37