1-World Festival of Foreign Films
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"Czech New Wave Set: Daisies/The Joke"
1966/1968
Directed by Vera Chytilova/Jaromil Jires

Two key films from the Czech New Wave. In Daisies (Vera Chytilova, 1966, 74 mins.), two uninhibited young women (both named Marie) turn against the numbing state of society in a madcap flurry of pranks and material destruction. Beneath the outrageous surface of this avant-garde comedy is a defiant feminist statement and an acknowledgement of the desperation that goes hand-in-hand with rebellion--a state of mind represented by one girl's attempted suicide. The film so unsettled Czech government officials that its release was held up for a year.
The Joke (Jaromil Jires, 1968, 80 mins.), based on a novel by Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) is dark and ironic film shot during the Prague Spring of 1968. After ending a postcard with a humorous reference to Trotsky, a young man is sentenced to years of hard labor for his joke. Upon his release, he sets out to take revenge by seducing the wife of the Communist Party official who turned him in. The film and book were subsequently banned in Czechoslovakia. Both films in Czech with English subtitles.
  154 minutes.

 


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