Daisies is a 1966 Czechoslovak comedy-drama film by Věra Chytilová. Generally regarded as a milestone of the Nová Vlna movement, it follows two teenage girls both named Marie, who engage in strange pranks.
“The form of the film was really derived from the conceptual basis of the film. Because the concept of the film was destruction, the form became destructive as well.”
“Daisies was a morality play showing how evil does not necessarily manifest itself in an orgy of destruction caused by the war, that its roots may lie concealed in the malicious pranks of everyday life. I chose as my heroines two young girls because it is at this age that one most wants to fulfil oneself and, if left to one’s own devices, his or her need to create can easily turn into its very opposite.”
“As one of the most innovative filmmakers of the 1960s, Chytilová’s work is of particular interest in the context of feminist counter-cinema but it is worth noting that her key films preceded the development of feminist film writing in the 1970s. If she travelled the same route, it was in a different context. Writing of Daisies [...] Petra Hanáková points out that [it does] not work with the conscious intention of subverting phallocentric meaning: ‘[the] subversiveness appears more as a by-product of female creativity itself, as a projection of the biting wit of the authors unpredictably criticizing the workings of patriarchy.’ [...] Hanáková argues that Daisies allows the inscription of female desire and gratification and corrupts patriarchal language through nonsense and irony. Linguistic disintegration ‘supports and mirrors narrative fragmentation and rupturing’. She suggests that the ‘moral message of the framing fails to impose itself on the impulsively “naughty” film core’.”