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July 14, 2009

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lazarus

I randomly stumbled upon Daises when it was recommended by Amazon.uk of all places after looking up Valerie and Her Week of Wonders. My interest piqued, I "found" it online shortly thereafter and fell in total movie love. Over the last couple months I've been feverishly trying to hunt down the other Chytilova films floating around the ether, though only some have accompanying subtitles.

It was another nice surprise to see that Second Run was just in the process of releasing Daisies on DVD, so I picked that up; great purchase. Not too much in the way of extras but the semi-recent interview with the charming Chytilova was well worth it.

Showed the film to a bunch of friends and everyone loved it.

lazarus

Oh yeah, forgot to say, Glenn, that I'm surprised you neglected to mention CĂ©line and Julie Go Boating in your write up. It's pretty clear that the film was inspired by Daisies, especially as Rivette was one of Chytilova's early cheerleaders.

Ryan Kelly

"Geneltmen Prefer Blondes" was, along with "Sergeant York", a movie that really cooled me to Hawks on the whole. The movie starts off snarkily ridiculing vanity and then winds up celebrating it by the end.

John Svatek

Ryan, I have to say that I find "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" ridicules AND celebrates vanity. In a good way. Even snarkily good. The knockout punch of "Diamonds" is hardly ridicule. Let's just say Hawks was aware of its attractions (and dangers). In fact, one might say that's what Hawks puts the four major characters though in the movie and it's a major theme: How much will my ego/desire/righteousness interfere with my love object. Person, that is. It won't interfere at all with the diamonds or the Olympic swim team.

I find that the film celebrates (as is so often the case with Hawks) the working couple, often homosocial and in this rare case, female. A couple not endangered by their respective vanities. The fact that Dorothy and Lorelei have a friendship they never doubt and that is unaffected by whatever the men around them is, I think, a view not often found in the mainstream.

It even passes the Bechdel test: the movie has to have at least two women in it; who talk to each other; about something besides a man (in this case diamonds. Oh, and Little Rock, the Olympic swim team, being down and out in Paris). Very rare for the 50s.

That Fuzzy Bastard

Now if we could just get a proper release of Chytilova's fantastic, Altmanesque Panelstory (a.k.a. Prefab Story)! Saw that and the groovy little Communist thriller Wolf Chalet at the Anthology Film Archives' Chytilova retrospective, and though I'm glad to have seen them, it does greatly increase my sorrow at how many fantastic movies of hers are unavailable on disc anywhere.

Jeff McMahon

I agree that Sergeant York is atypical (and to my mind, lousy) Hawks, but GPB is one of my absolute favorites of his.

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