Earlier this week, I went to BAM to see my absolute favorite movie in the entire world: Daisies.
I had never seen it projected on a big screen before, let alone on a 35mm print format so I was ecstatic to be able to experience it in that manner. (Opportunities like this remind me why I chose to move to New York City). I don't know if I will ever be able to fully articulate what I feel when I watch this film, but I think the things most dear to someone are usually hard to describe.
When I first saw this movie, I was studying at FAMU in Prague. It was towards the end of our semester there and I remember the entire 10 of us taking that film course were attentive and silent during the entire screening. At the end of it, we all went to the pub downstairs and gushed over how amazing the movie had been. We begged our professor to get Vera Chytilová (who taught at FAMU at the time, I'm not too sure if she is still on staff there) to come talk to us about the film. And she did.
This movie came out at the time when Czechoslovakia was under a Communist regime, so you can only imagine the feedback a film like this received from the government. Vera was banned from filmmaking, along with a few other of her peers, because people didn't quite understand what the film was about. Also because they felt she was wasteful with food.
She came into our class shrouded in black, sunglasses to match. She grilled every male (all 4 of them) on who they thought they were, why they thought they were important. She answered our question of whether those two girls really ate all that food. They really did. And then she told us one thing I will always remember:
'You can't make movies unless you know who you are.'
This was the moment I realized that I really wasn't sure of who I was. What did I want to express and share with the world through my future films? Up until that point, I had spent my last seven years as a 'filmmaker' not knowing how to answer the only question people knew how to ask me: What kind of movies do you want to make?
I always said 'Weird ones.'
Every time I watch Daisies, I find a new part of myself in it. This time, it made me really want to be a reckless girl with a lust for the unknown. A break from reality. To swing in a chandelier! Every frame of this movie is pure, gold magic and I could watch it a thousand times more if only the DVD I ripped from my professor at FAMU wasn't so scratched up.