Movie Club! July

I recently had a realization that all of the 60’s films on my to-watch list were foreign, which is pretty weird because I don't really go out of my way to watch non-American movies. So, with that discovery, I set out on a 50+ yr old foreign film marathon and I honestly have no rgrts! Heres what I plowed through last weekend:

daisies.jpg

1. Daisies (Sedmikrasky in Czechoslovakian) is a 1966 product of the Czech New Wave Movement, a youthful rebellion against communism in film that tried to alert Czechs to the dangers of their government (film has power fam !). Daisies fixes on two young girls who note that the whole world is spoiled and decide to be spoiled too. I would first describe the film as absurd: the dialogue is robotic, the plot is ?? and the girls spend a lot of the movie eating. Daisies also happens to be anarchic, surreal, fashionable, and an interesting commentary on femininity and  government. The girls go on dates with older men, ravage meal after meal (their gluttony contributed toward its immediate government ban), and are mean to boys, all in breezy dresses and flower crowns. 

I would now like to present to you some user reviews on this film from the site letterboxd.com. Lucy says “all they wanted to do was eat and destroy things... big mood” and Katie wisely remarks “CHAOTIC EVIL.” Karsten Runquist sums up the film’s spirit in their insightful review: “Women rule Men are lame I love colors.” watch the first half in HD here and finish here

If you're into this, also check out dir Věra Chytilová’s 1962 debut short ‘Ceiling,’ about the male exploitation of fashion models. 

2. A Woman is a Woman (1961)

She's a woman!!!!! I loved this French movie because the tone felt very familiar but the premise was something I hadn't heard of before- striptease artist Angela is desperate for a baby but, because her boyfriend isn't ready, she sleeps with his bff instead. Angela is always wearing red which is a vibe and says a lot of relatable things, like that women are allowed to sidestep questions and men are not. Also her boyfriend’s friend is THE cutest change my mind. As someone who doesn't watch foreign films avidly, I’d definitely recommend this one first on this list for beginners. As a light romcom, it was the easiest for me to digest, but it was still artistic in the way jump cuts and audio were used. winner. 

yanco.jpg

3. Uncle Yanco (1967) 

You know what I love???? this short film. Directed by Agnès Varda, its a documentary about her trip to San Fransisco and the discovery of her relation to Jean "Yanco" Varda, a greek artist living a sunny, happy hippie life on his houseboat by Sausalito. He paints, makes music, and entertains his community! I want to be Uncle Yanco so badly it hurts. The whole thing is in French and I couldn’t find a version with subtitles, but I pieced it together online and still enjoyed it so much. It’s super colorful, and at less than 20 minutes, it’s like a sweet little movie dessert for your soul. watch here

4. Funeral Parade of Roses (1969)

This black and white Japanese movie is loosely based on Oedipus Rex, which you may remember from YOUR senior yr of high school as a Greek epic about the failed circumnavigation of fate and, oh yeah, accidentally sleeping with your mother (or, in this case, father). Its protagonist is trans, and director Toshio Matsumoto dives into the country’s queer underground by combining arthouse (experimental and niche rather than simply entertaining or targeted at the masses) and documentary styles. Interviews with drag queens are also featured in this dark drama, which you can watch here.

There you have it! I really hope you enjoy at least one of these (if you manage to move past that pretentious foreign film feeling). This definitely made me less apprehensive towards foreign films- I kind of like that you have to really pay attention to them (to read the subtitles) because I usually try to multitask when watching movies and probably miss a bunch of details. Anyways happy June more soon! 

Sarah KendricComment