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Copyright © 2018 Shut Up and Listen. All rights reserved.

Published in Bloomington, Indiana

FILM FEATURE

published 1.17

DAISIES

     This surreal tale begins with the squeaking movements of two young women, both named Marie. They maneuver through almost robotically choreographed movements while briefly discussing the current state of the world. Ultimately deciding that if everything is turning bad, why don’t they be bad as well? 

     Released in 1966, Daisies was directed by Věra Chytilová, a Czech woman with a background in philosophy as well as architecture. The film was quickly rejected by the government and subsequently banned. However, Daisies is now widely celebrated as an integral piece of new wave as well as feminist cinema.

 

     With experimentations in cinematography, Daisies utilizes many unusual, comical, and unexpected 

visual devices to carry the film between stories and scenes. Filming styles, 

special effects, and color palettes all combine to create a visually compelling 

experience.

     The film does not follow a typical narrative plot line, but instead shows vignettes of Marie and Marie’s 

mischievous exploits together. Cytilová’s avant-garde approach to storytelling instead captures a mood and a mindset - 

the adventure of finding an identity. The film celebrates the anarchic, the rebellious, and the exploration of self expression.

DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL

     The Diary of a Teenage Girl isn’t the typical coming of age story. It will bring you to the edge of the couch, slap you in the face, then kiss both of your cheeks.

 

     Based on the graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner, the film follows 15 year old Minnie, played by Bel Powley, as she enters a secret relationship with her mom’s boyfriend, Monroe.

 

     Knowing only the plot, it would be easy to dismiss the movie as just another perverted romance film where an older guy fulfills his fantasy of hooking up with a young girl. However, director Marielle Heller avoids making the film over exploitative and sleazy by focusing on Minnie’s emotions as she struggles to find herself rather than emphasizing how Monroe feels. The fact that the director and writer are female also plays a role in how the movie comes across. 

     Together they explode sexual taboos by creating Minnie, a woman who enjoys and seeks sex. Although Minnie is extremely naive, creating a character like her is important in our society where girls find it hard to express their sexual desires.