Daisies

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1966

Production year

1965

Premiere

30 December 1966

Runtime

76 min

Category

film

Genre

slapstick, allegory, morality

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Sedmikrásky

Czech title

Sedmikrásky

English title

Daisies

Working title

Chudobky

Summary

One of the most celebrated films of the 1960s Czechoslovak New Wave, Sedmikrásky (Daisies, 1966) is director Věra Chytilová’s second feature film. Made when Chytilová was 37-years-old, this timeless, vibrant classic continues to inspire new generations of viewers. A provocative film, it tells the story of two young women who decide to mirror the decadent, hedonistic world in which they live. Removed from the political reality of the time in which it was made, Daisies are nonetheless a quintessential representation of the mid-sixties aesthetic. Marie I and Marie II have no qualms with traditional morality and social norms, carelessly bamboozling the men attracted to their carefree exuberance – mostly older men. The avariciousness of these models sees them exploiting the wallets of their spellbound male suitors, and just trying to enjoy any kind of fun that comes their way. One gauge of their escapades is the game “matters/ doesn’t matter”, which both swaggering Maries play as they blindly proceed from one adventure to the next. But their “spoilt” nature – as highlighted at the end through a moral underscored by Chytilová – is just innocent rebellion set against the backdrop of a troubled modern world. Yet the protagonists of Daisies – playfully embodied by non-professional actresses Jitka Cerhová and Ivana Karbanová – primarily serve as a demonstration of female liberation in accordance with the feminist trends of the times. At the same time, the two Maries stand for – albeit in extreme form – Chytilová’s representation of female characters battling to make it in a man’s world. As such, they join the ranks of similar female trailblazers seen in Chytilová’s O něčem jiném (Another Way of Life, 1963); Hra o jablko (Apple Game, 1976); and Pastí, pastí pastičky (Traps, 1998). What makes Daisies so unique in terms of both form and meaning is its showcasing of the close collaboration between Chytilová, costume designer, set designer and co-writer Ester Krumbachová, and cinematographer Jaroslav Kučera. The film’s “dangerous” nature only emerged once it was edited together. This meant that though lauded by critics across the globe, and hailed at a multitude of film festivals, the film found itself subject at home to official criticism and censorship (it became one of the few Czechoslovak films to be taken up by the Czechoslovak parliament, and later ended up “shelved” in a “normalisation” era vault).

Synopsis

Two young girls - Marie I and Marie II - are convinced that "everything in this world is spoilt for them" and so they decide that as well will be depraved. They adopt the principle that "nothing matters, just so long as it's a joke". They look for jokes at home, in a swimming-pool and in night-clubs. Marie I starts a relationship with an older man and at dinner pretends that she is modest and chaste. But then Marie II appears, takes a seat at the table and shamelessly orders various delicacies at the man's expense. Finally the girls escort the surprised man to the station, put him on a train and wave him goodbye. They repeat this trick several times, they steal from a cloakroom attendant and play a game with a young man who claims to be passionately in love with one of the Maries. None of this is enough for them, however. They want to be even more depraved, but they are also aware that people don't notice them. One day they ride up to an upper floor of a hotel where a lavish feast has been set out in a beautiful hall. After a while the girls start in on the food, and then set about throwing cakes at each other and destroying the whole table. They swing on the crystal chandeliers, fly through the windows and fall into a river, where they start to drown. No one tries to save them, and both Maries lose their taste for being depraved. They return to the destroyed salon, try to repair the damage and comfort themselves with the promise that if they are good and work hard they will also be happy.

Cast

Jitka Cerhová

Marie I /tmavovlasá s culíky/

Ivana Karbanová

Marie II /blondýnka/

Julius Albert

starší muž s plnovousem

Jan Klusák

zamilovaný světák

Marie Češková

žena na toaletě

Jiřina Myšková

toaletářka

Marcela Březinová (2)

toaletářka

Oldřich Hora

světák

Václav Chochola

muž v černém

Jaromír Vomáčka

veselý muž

Josef Koníček

tanečník ve vinárně

František Uldrich

muž v uličce

Oldřich Bašus

hudebník

A. Drábek

houslista

J. Hrubý

plavec

Robert Kühnel

bubeník

J. Laufer

kytarista

L. Nedvěd

harmonikář

J. Pech

hudebník

J. Tesárek

hudebník

J. Bartoš

svalovec

Miroslava Babůrková

žena v okně vlaku

V. Zikmund

Dubbing

Jiří Menzel

hlas Jana za dveřmi

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Rudolf Jaroš

Assistant Director

Zeno Dostál

Script Supervisor

Lilian Havlíčková

Shooting Script

Věra Chytilová

Director of Photography

Jaroslav Kučera

Second Unit Photography

František Uldrich

Camera Operator

Karel Ludvík

Production Designer

Karel Lier

Assistent Production Designer

Libuše Jahodová

Set Designer

Bedřich Čermák, František Straka, Roman Svoboda

Costume Designer

Ester Krumbachová

Film Editor

Miroslav Hájek

Assistant Film Editor

Jitka Šulcová

Sound Designer

Ladislav Hausdorf

Production Manager

Rudolf Hájek

Unit Production Manager

František Jaderník, Jaroslav Vlk

Unit Production Manager

Antonín Kubový

Cooperation

Jana Štroblová (klapka)

Music

Music Composed by

Jiří Šust, Jiří Šlitr

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by František Belfín), Pražský dixieland

Songwriter

Jiří Šlitr

Writer of Lyrics

Jiří Suchý

Production info

Original Title

Sedmikrásky

Czech Title

Sedmikrásky

English Title

Daisies

Working Title

Chudobky

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

slapstick, allegory, morality

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1966

Production Year

1965

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 15 June 1965
technical Screenplay approved 5 August 1965
start of filming 6 September 1965
end of filming 18 December 1965
the first film copy approved 21 July 1966
projection approval 30 August 1966

Premiere

premiere 30 December 1966 /unsuitable for youths/ (celostátní)
premiere 15 September 1967 /unsuitable for youths/ (kina Klub /3 týdny/ a Hvězda /9 týdnů od 6. 10./, Praha)
renewed premiere 21 July 2012 /recommended for 12 and over/
renewed premiere 2 June 2022 /suitable for all ages without limit/

Distribution slogan

Explosive anarchistic ride by Věra Chytilová. (2012)

Distribution

Ústřední půjčovna filmů (původní 1966), Asociace českých filmových klubů (obnovená 2012 /Projekt 100 – 2012/; monopol do 31. 12. 2013), Národní filmový archiv (obnovená 2022)

Creative Group

Tvůrčí skupina Šmída – Fikar, Ladislav Fikar (vedoucí dramaturg tvůrčí skupiny), Bohumil Šmída (vedoucí výroby tvůrčí skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

76 min

Original length in metres

2 079 meters

Distribution carrier

35mm, DCP 2-D, DVD, BRD

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

colour, black & white

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Anketa Českého rozhlasu – Kánon100 (nejoblíbenější umělecká díla posledních 100 let)

2018
Praha / Czech Republic

Vítěz

Event: Anketa filmových kritiků o nejlepší česko-slovenský hraný film století

1998
Praha / Czech Republic

Vítěz

Event: Cena Svazu finských filmových kritiků

1969
Helsinky / Finland

Vítěz

Event: Cena Svazu belgických filmových kritiků 1968

1969
Brusel / Belgium

Vítěz

Event: 6. mezinárodní soutěž o technickou cenu Mezinárodní unie filmových technických sdružení Brusel

1968
Brusel / Belgium

Vítěz

Festival: 10. Grand Premio – mezinárodní festival uměleckých filmů a filmů o umění Bergamo

1967
Bergamo / Italy

Vítěz

Event: Odměna vedení Československého filmu za nejúspěšnější film roku 1966

1967
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jaroslav Kučera

Vítěz

Event: Ceny Trilobit 1966

1967
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jaroslav Kučera

Vítěz

Event: Ceny Trilobit 1966

1967
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Věra Chytilová