Daisies / Fruits of Paradise
A milestone in the Czech New Wave, Vera Chytilová’s Daisies follows two young girls, both named Marie, as they embark upon an anarchic series of escapades and impromptu happenings. Exclaiming “one should try everything,” they play pranks, get drunk, gorge themselves and engage in all manners of homespun absurdism with complete abandon as Chytilová douses them in shifting colors and random visual effects. A Dadaist comedy shot through with freeform largesse, Daisies is co-written by Ester Krumbachová, who not only worked with Chytilová on its follow-up, We Eat the Fruit of the Trees of Paradise, but also the darker Valerie and Her Week of Wonders. Held from release by the censors for longer than a year, Daisies was promptly banned after a brief run. But over the years it’s legacy has quietly grown, and it’s influence can be found in Jacques Rivette’s Celine and Julie Go Boating and in the irreverent films of Athina Rachel Tsangari (whose Attenberg was released this year) and Jennifer West. “Masterpiece . . . looks better every year—it’s amazing that this feminist Duck Soup is not yet regarded as a classic.”—J. Hoberman, Village Voice.
We Eat the Fruit of the Trees of Paradise
Reteaming with her Daisies collaborators—cinematographer Jaroslav Kucera and screenwriter Ester Krumbachova—while adding soundscapes by avant-garde composer Zdeněk Liška (Marketa Lazarova, The Little Mermaid, various Svankmajer shorts), Chytilová presents a modern-day, pungently psychedelic reimagining of the Adam and Eve story in We Eat the Fruit of the Trees of Paradise. Eden is a pastoral resort, and, as Eve explores its leafy vastness (all the while tailed by a bearded Satan), Chytilová unleashes a cavalcade of effects—multiple exposures, step printing, frantic edits, slow motion—that echo her protagonist’s visionary experience. Premiered at the 1970 edition of Cannes, We Eat the Fruit of the Trees of Paradise never had a U.S. release.
Imported 35mm prints!
Bing Theater | $10 for the general public, $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID; $5 for LACMA Film Club members and Cinefamily members | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.