‘Valerie and Her Week of Wonders’: what a phantasmagoria looks like

Finally out on a worthy Region 1 release: The 1970 Czech film Valerie and Her Week of Wonders offers an overload of stimuli. It's a surrealist take on a Gothic novel, filmed in a quasi-psychedelic style, with a "freak folk" score. Horror-fantasy has never looked or sounded so enchanting. Read more [...]

L.A. Rep Cinema Pick: ‘Daisies,’ and the most subversive food fight ever filmed

Critic J. Hoberman has written of the Czech film Daisies, “The most drolly anarchic cine-provocation to bloom during Prague Spring, Vera Chytilová’s 1966 masterpiece looks better every year — it’s amazing that this feminist Duck Soup is not yet regarded as classic.” I couldn’t agree more. Daisies is both a definitive ‘60s film and yet somehow still seems too new for the 21st century. Read more [...]

Mad about ‘Marketa’: A few words about the Czech classic

Out now on DVD, Blu-Ray and iTunes: 1960s classic Marketa Lazarová gives the impression that the director arrived on set every day determined to test what movies were capable of. The results are thrilling to watch. Contemporary filmmakers, man up and learn from the visionary approach here! Read more [...]

‘Game of Thrones’ fans, have I got a movie for you

The best news of the past week was that Criterion will be releasing the 1967 Czech film Marketa Lazarová on DVD and Blu-Ray in June. At times this masterpiece of savage barbarian action plays like a documentary shot in the muck and frost of Winterfell. Read more [...]