“The Czech New Wave is perhaps best known for wry, poignant tales like Milos Forman’s Loves of a Blonde and Jiri Menzel’s Closely Watched Trains,” begins Nicolas Rapold in the New York Times. “Accompanying the thaw in Czechoslovakia’s political climate during the early to mid-1960s, these and films by Jaromil Jires, Ivan Passer and Jan Nemec demonstrated new creative freedom, stylistic panache and the possibility of social critique. International acclaim followed, including two Oscar victories. But the extraordinary 1966 film Daisies, which begins a weeklong run at BAMcinématek on Friday”—that’s today!—”represents an exhilarating, lesser-known strain of the Czech New Wave. This radically mischievous work was the second feature of the wave’s sole female director, Věra Chytilová. In her visually arresting, capricious film—full of colorful experiments, dazzling collage effects and surrealist antics—two dangerously bored young women have anarchic fun in a series of loosely connected episodes.”
More from Melissa Anderson (Voice), David Fear (Time Out New York, 5/5), Vadim Rizov (GreenCine Daily), Justin Stewart (L), and Ryan Wells (Cinespect). Daisies now begins a summer-long, cross-country tour; see Janus Films for cities and dates. Earlier: Dennis Harvey on “Czech New Wave High Points.”
Also in New York, Heliopolis presents A Color Box, featuring chromatic works by Bill Brand, Madison Brookshire, Kenny Curwood, Sandra Gibson, Pierre Hébert, and Eric Ostrowski.
Los Angeles. From today through Monday, the UCLA Film & Television Archive presents The Films and Legacy of António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro, prompting Andy Rector to begin running a series of related texts at Kino Slang. He begins with a translation of Serge Daney and Jean-Pierre Oudart’s interview with Reis for the May 1977 issue of Cahiers du Cinéma.
London. Taking its cue from the East End Film Festival, Electric Sheep surveys the work of Shinya Tsukamoto: John Bleasdale on Tetsuo: Iron Man (1989) and Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (1992) and Nicola Woodham on Kotoko (2011).
Reading. Hitchcock’s on the cover of the new August issue of Sight & Sound; on a related note, Josef Braun revisits The 39 Steps (1935) today.
Obit. “So farewell then to Eric Sykes, one of Britain’s best loved funny men,” writes Luke McKernan. “He was a natural comic performer, generally playing someone confident that he knew what he was doing while demonstrating time and again that he had no reason to be so, best exemplified by the long-running TV sitcom Sykes. He was also one of the most talented comic writers of his time, writing for Educating Archie, Tony Hancock, The Goons, Frankie Howerd and his own shows. Like many of his generation of comedians, he had an immense affection and respect for the great silent comedians.”
For further mid-summer browsing, today let me recommend the cinetrix‘s “Friday film reads,” parts 1 and 2.
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