|VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS (VALERIE A TYDEN DIVU) (director/writer: Jaromil Jires; screenwriters: Ester Krumbachová /based on the novel by Vítezslav Nezval; cinematographer: Jan Curik; editor: Josef Valusiak; music: Lubos Fiser/Jan Klusak; cast: Jaroslava Schallerová (Valerie), Helena Anýzová (Babicka / Elsa / Redhead Matka ), Petr Kopriva (Orlík), Jirí Prýmek (Tchor-konstábl), Libuse Komancová (Sluzka-novicka), Karel Engel (Kocí Ondrej), Alena Stojáková (Hedvika), Jan Klusak (Priest Gracian), Martin Wielgus (Father); Runtime: 77; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Jirí Becka ; Criterion Collection; 1970-Czechoslovakia-in Czech with English subtitles )|
surreal dream-like film."
by Dennis Schwartz
film-maker Jaromil Jires ("Double
Role"/"The Joke"/"Pearls of the Deep") is part of the
Czech New Wave. Their films were made as dissenters to
the oppressive Soviet Union occupiers after the war.
This is a confounding surreal dream-like film about
the coming-of-age of an innocent virgin orphan
13-year-old girl, Valerie (Jaroslava
Schallerová), who lives in
a rural town with her stern grandmother (Helena Anýzová).
We witness Valerie's fantasy week, that will include
her Catholic confirmation ritual and such odd things
as vampires appearing (granny emerges as a vampire),
the return of her deceased bishop father (who may also
be a vampire) and her loving relationship with Eagle (Petr Kopriva),
who turns out to be her brother
and who has given her magical earrings.
bizarre Gothic fairytale story was well-produced and
its arty images were dazzling, but its content failed
to connect with me. It was too jumbled for me to try
and put together all its ramifications.
REVIEWED ON 10/27/2014 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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