19:00 Presentation by Selina Robertson
20:00 Daisies, Věra Chytilová, Czech Republic, 1966, 76’ DCP, OV CH, Sub. EN-ES
This summer the queer feminist film collective Club des Femmes, in partnership with the Independent Cinema Office and the British Film Institute programmed a season of films entitled ‘Revolt, She Said: Women and Film after ’68’ touring to over 30 cinemas around the UK. Reflecting on the volcanic changes that followed the events of May 1968, we shared a cinematic history women’s radicalism, debating intersectional, queer and feminist stories of revolution. Stories that are inspiring and disquieting to this day. As the British heat wave took hold, we offered provocative films by directors including Agnès Varda, Chantal Akerman, VALIE EXPORT, Laura Mulvey, Pratibha Parma and Mai Zetterling raising the temperature inside the cinema too. The oldest in the season was Vera Chytilová’s (1929-2014) ever-fresh Daisies (1966), a film that wickedly kicks against the pricks and feels as if it was made today. A politically and formally radical vision of female rebellion, the film was made three years before the Prague Spring of 1968 but dissent is clearly in the air. Daisies follows the misadventures of two young women both called Marie (played by Jitka Cerhová and Ivana Karbanová), who rebelliously scam rich dates, cut off their own heads and wreck an official feast. The film’s anarchic attitude saw it banned by the Czech authorities, a key reason cited was ‘food wastage’, staying out of circulation for years. Girish Shambu has called the film’s freewheeling rage against the world proto-riot grrrl, and the two Maries (defiantly unholy) are a total riot. The film is as transgressive now as it was fifty years ago, a genuine feminist classic, a masterpiece of the 60’s Czech New Wave (Chytilová was the only woman filmmaker in the movement), and one that anticipated ‘Third Wave Feminism’ and continues to light the insurgent #MeToo movement of contemporary feminism.