Martin Teller's Movie Reviews

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Posted by martinteller on February 22, 2008

A real gem from the Czech New Wave.  Embodies the anarchic spirit of Makavejev without the retarded button-pushing, and the playfulness of Godard without the intellectual pretense.  It’s a freewheeling, wickedly fun movie… flawed, but highly entertaining.  Marie and Marie rise from a puppet-like existence and decide that if the rest of the world has gone bad, then so will they.  What ensues is a dada-esque series of non-sequiturs as the two girls go on a hedonistic spree.  What makes the film so exciting is the way Chytilová employs a wild palette of photographic and editing techniques (including some I don’t think I’ve ever seen before) to contribute to the anything-goes tone.  Also very inventive use of music and sound.  It’s loose and unpredictable and just plain FUN.  The movie is so unconventional that it leaves itself wide open to interpretation… I would say there’s a strong feminist vibe to it, but the characters are not very sympathetic, so that may be off-base.  In fact, this is the film’s biggest drawback — Marie and Marie are charming at times, but they also can be highly obnoxious, as are their baby-doll coquettish voices.  The other major problem (besides the lack of a plot, which will of course alienate most viewers) is that the symbolism is occasionally far too blunt.  I don’t think castration imagery gets any blunter than cutting up sausages and bananas with scissors.  Although the movie can be challenging, if you let yourself go along with it, it’s a dazzling, wild ride.  Rating: 8


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