Kinoeye:  The fornightly journal of film in the new Europe

Vol 2
Issue 8
29 Apr

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Vera ChytilovaVěra Chytilová:
Permanent rebel

For the past 40 years, Věra Chytilová has attacked the problems of contemporary society and sharply criticised human failings. Her tireless call for morality makes her position within Czech cinema completely unique. Kinoeye presents various points-of-view of this ceaseless fighter.

Vera Chytilova's Sedmikrasky (Daisies, 1996) Angry young girls
Gender representations in
the films of Věra Chytilová

Chytilová's heroines rebelliously try to subvert the patriarchal system and gender stereotypes—and fail. Małgorzata Radkiewicz examines the plight of female leads in two of Chytilová's most famous films.

Vera Chytilova's Sedmikrasky (Daisies, 1996) The void behind the mask
Game-playing in
the films of Věra Chytilová

The mortality of human life and the shallowness of existence are repeated themes in Chytilová's work. Ivana Košuličová explores how these themes are realised through the concept of the game.

Vera Chytilova "Now I don't know how
to keep on going"

The early films of Věra Chytilová

In Chytilová's early films, there is already clear evidence of the themes that would continue to obsess her, expressed in a unique and remarkable style, as Jiří Cieslar argues.

Vera Chytilova's Panelstory (Prefab Story, 1979) Against destruction
Věra Chytilová's Panelstory
(Prefab Story, 1979)

Images of destruction, especially in opposition to creativity or a utopia, are a perennial motif for Chytilová. Andrew James Horton looks at a film in which this reaches an apogee.

Vera Chytilova's Pasti, pasti, pasticky (Traps, 1998) Bones, bones, bone-eater...
Věra Chytilová's
Pasti, pasti, pastičky (Traps, 1998)

Pasti, pasti, pastičky was largely a disappointment for the critics. Jaromír Blažejovský explains how it fits into Chytilová's oeuvre and prepares the viewer for some of the film's "problems."

Vera Chytilova's Vyhnani z raje (Expulsion from Paradise, 2001) Naked allegory
Věra Chytilová's Vyhnání z ráje (Expulsion from Paradise, 2001)

Chytilová's latest tale of moral decay has confounded critics with its deliberate contrasting of acting styles and mixed levels of reality. Dora Viceníková analyses the film.

Chytilová on the web
Links to online resources on Věra Chytilová

Compiled by Sarah Andrews.

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From the archives...

Vera Chytilova's Ovoce stromu rajskych jime (Fruit of Paradise, 1969) Can we live
with the truth?

Věra Chytilová's
Ovoce stromů rajských jíme
(Fruit of Paradise, 1969)

Critics widely misunderstood Chytilová's operatic parable on its release. Daniel Bird discusses this film that was "for the next decade."

Vera Chytilova's Pasti, pasti, pasticky (Traps, 1998) Hitchhiking: The perils and the romance
Věra Chytilová's
Pasti, pasti, pastičky (Traps, 1998)

Chytilová's "feminist black comedy" is less controlled than her earlier works and contains mixed messages. Andrew James Horton finds it unsatisfying.

Věra Chytilová: Permanent rebel
Guest editor: Ivana Košuličová
With thanks to:
Film a doba, The London Czech Centre and Facets Multimedia.

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