“[A] shifting landscape of sensuous, anticlerical, and vaguely medieval fantasy-horror enchantments that register more as a collection of dream adventures, spurred by guiltless and polysexual eroticism, than as a conventional narrative”
Based on the 1935 experimental novel by Surrealist Czech writer Vítězslav Nezval, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is a gothic fever-dream about a young girl’s brusque transition into adulthood and into a world of lusty, ruthless vampires, demons, and witches. When a thief steals her earrings in the night, Valerie (Jaroslava Schallerová) attempts to recover the magical totems, and so initiates her descent into an animalistic netherworld.
A discontinuous and discomforting fairytale, Jireš’ lyrical film is bewitched by the unnerving, the threatening, and the odd. Jana Prikryl suggests that the novelist Nezval’s mixture of surrealism and violence was inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and that this influence is most conspicuously translated into the film version in the protagonist’s “open and imperturbable manner” in the face of danger.
Co-presented with CaSFFA. The 6th Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia will run at ACMI and the Melbourne Town Hall between September 12-26 with a theme of "Spring".
Cerise Howard, Artistic Director of CaSFFA, will introduce both screenings.
The Eccentric Carnival: Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
Fri 1 Jun