Friday, November 25, 2011

If everything's going we're going bad as well!

One of my favorite film movements has barely been discussed in class, the readings, and the blog -- Czech New Wave. Running parallel with French New Wave, Czech New Wave used a lot of the same practices seen in Godard films in the 60s. The films had political undertones and used non-professional actors, but yet they do not get the same recognition as the French New Wave/Godard's films. I've read that Godard considered "Czech cinema at the time being too 'bourgeois.'" (link!) I completely disagree with him, because often these films depict the working class such as 1966's Ostře sledované vlaky (Closely Watched Trains) or Hoří, má panenko (The Firemen's Ball) -- which apparently used no actors, and all the firemen were the real firemen from the town the film is set.

But if there is any Czech New Wave film to go head to head with any Godard film it would be 1966's Sedmikrásky (Daisies). Now for comparing purposes, I've picked Week end to go against Daisies; Both came out around the same time [Daisies came out a year before] and both are known for its absurdity.

While the car represents the bourgeois culture in Week end, in Daisies the scissors represent the destruction of that culture. Both Marie I and Marie II use scissors to cut up sausages, pickles and bananas (phallic symbols), themselves, and even the film screen itself.

Within the first 3 minutes of the film, the Maries both decided that "if everything's going we're going bad as well." is the complete opposite of Week end, where we see these people who are already bad, doing bad things. The Maries see the only way of destroying the society they were brought up in is to be exactly like it until it destroys itself. Mind you, their vision of being bad is pulling pranks on old men "sugar daddies" and other silly antics.

Eating is a theme shown in both films. In one corner: Week end ends with cannibalism, and in the other corner: Daisies always shows the Maries constantly eating and the film ends with the Maries finding a huge royalty-like dinner set up.

While Week end has overtly political messages such as the dialogue in the scene with the two garbage men, Daisies is already political between it uses two actresses [or are they non-professional actresses?] who are in relations with themselves and forget the world of men. The film passes the Bechel test, a "rule" from a character from the comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For, who would only watch a film follows these requirements:
1. It has to have at least two women characters
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something other than a man.

Godard films will always fail the Bechel test. But how can I or any other female filmmaker who want to destroy the failed, non-Bechel model? Should we go bad and make completely absurd films with only men? Or absurd rom-com?

A decent quality of Daisies is on youtube:


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