#272 Daisies

Watched: July 15 2020

Director: Věra Chytilová

Starring: Jitka Cerhová, Ivana Karbanová

Year: 1966

Runtime: 1h 14min

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Two young women, Marie I and Marie II (Cerhová and Karbanová), decide that since the world is going bad, they will get down with the badness and no longer live up to the female ideal of temperance.

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This isn’t even from the film. This is just us on a regular Tuesday.

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After eating apples (Symbolism Alert!), they go on an indulgence spree, eating, drinking and generally helping themselves to everything life has to offer, consequences be damned!

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Even when the consequences include decapitation

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Daisies is hard to describe, it needs to be experienced. And you should. The protagonists are wonderful, and there is still, 50+ years later, something unusually freeing about watching two young women gorge themselves on food and drinks the way they do.

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Our rational, practical, Norwegian brains are still worried about ants in the bed though

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We absolutely loved this – it is strange and surreal, and the costumes and sets are fantastic in every way.

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Sometimes the set even bleeds into the costumes. It’s a whole thing.

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Interestingly, after initial good reviews, the film was pretty much banned in its native Czechoslovakia by the communist regime for “depicting the wanton.” However, it is now generally regarded as one of the great Czechoslovak movies of all time.

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To be fair, what could ever possibly top this?

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Excellent comedy with a message! What’s not to love?

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This will be you as you watch. Trust and believe!

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What we learned: Everyone needs nourishment. And sometimes you have to break the rules.

Next time: Fantastic Voyage (1966)

#215 The Exterminating Angel/El ángel exterminador

Watched: January 05 2019

Director: Luis Buñuel

Starring: Silvia Pinal, Jacqueline Andere, José Baviera, Augusto Benedico, Luis Beristáin, Antonio Bravo, Claudio Brook, César del Campo, Rosa Elena Durgel, Lucy Gallardo, Enrique García Álvarez, Ofelia Guilmáin, Enrique Rambal, Patricia de Morelos, and just a bunch of others…

Year: 1962

Runtime: 1h 35min

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A dinner party is being thrown on Providence Street for twenty people. And some sheep. And a bear.

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Personally, we’d never even dream of attending a party without livestock

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As the party progresses, the servants keep leaving. But the guests eventually realise that they cannot do the same. They are stuck.

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Have you ever been to a party so good you cannot leave? Neither have these people. And yet…

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As the hours and days go by, the upper class dinner guests deteriorate and become more and more desperate, eventually contemplating murder to break their curse. But what is really going on?

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Honestly, we have no idea. This is above our pay grade.

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Like all of Buñuel’s movies, The Exterminating Angel requires some thought and interpretation. Which is not our forte. But we get the impression this is probably a comment on how high society deteriorates to the level of animals once the luxury and the societal structures they cling to are taken away.

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We’ll just insert this still of a herd of sheep without further comment.

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It’s a difficult movie to describe, but you should definitely watch it if you like any of the following:

  • Surrealism
  • Weird people
  • Herds of sheep
  • Strange conversations and non sequiturs
  • Chaos
  • Sacrifice
  • Baby bears
  • Impending doom
  • Comments on class, societal rules and human nature
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Or stupid people building a fire in the middle of a room with no openable windows

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We thoroughly enjoyed it! We understood absolutely nothing! You should watch it!

What we learned: You know, we would probably learn loads from this film on repeated viewings as it strikes us as the sort of movie you should really study. However, we still have 785 movies to go, so we’re gonna have to get back to you on this…

Next time: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)

#13 L’Age D’Or

Watched: August 12 2016

Director: Luis Buñuel & Salvador Dalí

Starring: Gaston Modot, Lya Lys

Year: 1930

Runtime: 1h

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Pro tip: want to make a Buñuel/Dalí film even more surreal? Try watching it in the original French with very limited French skills and some help from Google Translate with the intertitles. You’ll never have a movie experience quite like it! What we could decipher ourselves without help from Google was that scorpions are arachnids and that they are (not?) very sociable and can attack. Something then happened a few hours later. There was also a dialogue which definitely included the words “Quick!”, “yes” and “no.” Thank you, French lessons in school!

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The cause of death for these religious types is still unclear. Scorpions may or may not have been involved.

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From what we could understand, this is a sort of love story between a couple who cannot copulate. A very horny (and literally dirty) guy sees sexy things everywhere and likes to kick everything. His lady love is equally frustrated and at one point finds a cow in her bed. They finally meet up at a party where he slaps her mother, they suck each other’s fingers, and she fellates the toes of a statue.

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Toe licking is so hot right now!

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When she then starts making out with her father(possibly?) the man gets angry and starts throwing things out of a window, including a burning tree, a bishop and a giraffe.

A Marquis is mentioned at one point, and towards the end we are told of a castle where four criminals have been locked up for 120 days with eight teenaged girls, so there are some clear allusions to the Marquis de Sade (fun reading for the whole family, by the way!).

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Turns out Jesus has found a new career organising orgies for depraved criminals

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We must be honest and say that we were a bit apprehensive about watching this film after the horrible eye incident in Un Chien Andalou, but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Obviously, we probably missed a lot of the plot due to language problems, but nonetheless we had a great time watching it. And the chien finally makes an appearance. Yay!

Next time: City Lights (1931)

#11 Un Chien Andalou

Watched: August 10 2016

Directors: Luis Buñuel & Salvador Dalí

Starring: Simone Mareuil, Pierre Batcheff

Year: 1929

Runtime: 16 minutes

Note: Only one sister watched the whole film. Explanation will follow.

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Holy mindfuck, Batman! Un Chien Andalou is a surrealist short film made by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, and as such, you know you’re in for something a bit different. Two seconds in I, the oldest sister, realised I had seen it before, and then I remembered. There’s eye-stuff. Now, none of us is a stranger to gore (in fact, we often revel in it), but… I don’t like stuff involving eyes. I am never prepared for eye-stuff. I can’t even wear contact lenses because I’m scared of touching my own eyes.

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If this freaks you out, do NOT do an image search for this film. Or watch it. It gets worse.

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The Younger Sister couldn’t even keep watching after the first minute (which is where the eye-stuff is) but Sister the Older kept going (despite my phobia). And apart from the scene with the razor blade and the eye it’s an enjoyable watch. Grotesque, absurd and surreal things are strangely attractive, and this film checks all those boxes.

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Ants crawling out of a hand is nothing. Eye-stuff, however…

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Un Chien Andalou is pretty much indescribable, so I won’t even try. Rather, you can watch the whole film here. But be warned: there’s some gory eye-stuff. And no actual dog.

Next time: Animal Crackers (1930)