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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Daisies')

Directed by Vera Chytilová
Czechoslovakia 1966

Vera Chytilová's classic of surrealist cinema comes to Second Run DVD in an all-new digital transfer with improved picture and sound. A satirical, wild and irreverent story of teenage rebellion. Two young women rebel against a degenerate and oppressive society, attacking symbols of wealth and bourgeois culture. A riotous, punk-rock poem of a film that is both hilarious and mind-warpingly innovative, Daisies was banned in native Czechoslovakia and director Vera Chytilová was forbidden to work until 1975. Special features include; New filmed interview with director Vera Chytilová; Booklet essays; All new director-approved digital transfer from original negative materials with restored picture and sound.

***

A satirical, wild and irreverent story of rebellion, Věra Chytilová’s classic of surrealist cinema is perhaps also the most adventurous and anarchic Czech movie of the 1960s.

Two young women, both named Marie, revolt against a degenerate, decayed and oppressive society, attacking symbols of wealth and bourgeois culture. Defiant feminist statement? Nihilistic, avant-garde comedy? It remains a cinematic enigma and its influence is still felt today - from the extreme Baise-Moi to the mainstream Thelma & Louise and in the films of (amongst others) Jacques Rivette, Bertrand Blier, Catherine Breillat and Gregg Araki.

A riotous, punk-rock poem of a film that is both hilarious and mind-warpingly innovative, Daisies continues to provoke, stimulate and entertain.

Excerpt from Second Run's website located HERE

Theatrical Release: December 30th, 1966

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Comparison:

Second Run - Region 0 - PAL vs. Second Run - Region FREE Blu-ray

1) Second Run - Region 0 - PAL  LEFT

2) Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Cover

   

Distribution Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL

Second Run

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:12:48 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:15:53.333
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.98 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,905,034,069 bytes

Feature: 20,703,332,352 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 29.47 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio Czech (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio Czech 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
* LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
* LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Second Run DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Journey (Cesta) - Jasmina Bralic’s acclaimed documentary film portrait of director Vera Chytilová (52:36).
• New digital transfer with restored image and sound, approved by the director.
• 20-page booklet featuring a new essay by author and film programmer Peter Hames.
• Trailer.

DVD Release Date: June 1st, 2009

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 10

Release Information:
Studio: Second Run
Blu-ray

 

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,905,034,069 bytes

Feature: 20,703,332,352 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 29.47 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• Presented from a new HD re-master and transfer from original materials by the Czech National Film Archive.
• New and exclusive audio commentary by the Daughters of Darkness' Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger.
• Audio commentary by film historians Peter Hames and
Daniel Bird.
• Journey (Cesta, 2004) - Jasmina Blaževic’s acclaimed documentary film portrait of Vera Chytilová.
• Trailer (2009).
• 20-page booklet featuring Peter Hames’ substantial essay on the film
 

Blu-ray Release Date: October 22nd, 2018
Transparent Blu-ray case

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Second Run - Region FREE Blu-ray - November 2018: Second Run's new Blu-ray of "Daisies" is presented from a new HD re-master and transfer from original materials by the Czech National Film Archive. The increase in detail is quite evident in most shots. The last capture featuring the platter of food noticeably shows much more detail and less macro-blocking/pixelation. This new print certainly had some damage, which still shows up in this transfer. To some this could be distracting, but given the film's unique stitch and collage quality, with later scenes even taking scissors to the image and the bodies shown within, this adds to the texture of the film. Certain damage is usually only noticeable for a frame or two. Didn't bother me but your mileage may vary. Colors are deeper and have a wider range of hues, once again best exemplified in that last capture. Notice the red of the sliced tomatoes vs. the red on the cooked bird. Due to this being a newer source, the framing is also somewhat opened up in some scenes. Notice the hairline suddenly appearing on the man in the 3rd capture under the subtitles.

The 2009 DVD had a somewhat flat 2.0 channel audio. This new mix definitely sounds like an improvement. This linear PCM 2.0 track is quite lively actually, though it is a shame that it is not 24-bit. The wonderful bombastic and often discordant score is thanks to Jirí Slitr and Jirí Sust. There are optional English subtitles on this Region-Free
Blu-ray from Second-Run.

The new commentary track with Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan is wonderful. Kat and Samm are co-hosts of a wonderful podcast, "Daughters of Darkness" and are not new to the commentary game. They give lots of space to discuss the life and work of director Vera Chytilova in relation to the Prague Spring/ Czech New Wave movement. I particularly enjoyed Deighan sharing the fact that in the native language, the word for doll can also be used to describe a virgin. That little lost idiom is very cool. Chytilova was a strong, unique voice in a field typically littered with men. The director was more or less punished for speaking her mind, and yet this never stopped her, nor did it make her work more reactionary. Ellinger and Deighan clearly have a love of this director and her work, resulting in a very moving and personal commentary track. As the two mention, their track steers clear of what ground has previously been covered on the equally great commentary from film historians, Peter Hames and Daniel Bird. Bird and Hames cover lots of topics such as production detail and the history of Czech New Wave and Czech Cinema. Peter Hames is also the author of a substantial essay on the film which is also included in this release. Jasmina Blaževic’s acclaimed documentary film portrait of Vera Chytilová, the 55-minute "Journey" is also included. A trailer from 2009 for the film is on here as well.

Second Run have a really beautiful package here. The two commentaries compliment each other very nicely, and the documentary is very intimate and revealing. Hames' essay is insightful. As for the film, the transfer greatly improves on the previous SD release without too much tinkering. This
Blu-ray is a must have for fans of the film, a thing of such strangely whimsical nihilism.

Colin Zavitz

***

ON THE DVD: Cited on the box as 'New digital transfer with restored image and sound, approved by the director.', and I have no reason to doubt it with this dual-layered DVD edition from Second Run looking superior to all past digital incarnations that I'm aware of (including single-layered U.S. - Facets, Japanese and Spanish releases). Colors are lively and grain is prevalent. Only some minor macro-blocking impinges this release - or it almost looks hi-def! It's notably clean with surprising detail for a film over 40-years old.  The DVD is region free, progressive, in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and rendered in the PAL standard.

The flat 2.0 channel audio is fairly consistent but not a big part of the presentation. There are, complete, optional English subtitles. Supplements include Jasmina Bralic's 'Journey' (Cesta).  It's an informative documentary, short of an hour, on the Vera Chytilová - who is considered one of the foremost directors of the 1960's Czech New Wave. There is also a 2-minute trailer and a 20-page booklet featuring a new essay by author and film programmer Peter Hames.

Madcap, amusing romp with political undertones. Kind of a controlled acid trip with psychedelic Czech new-wave scenarios. This is very cool and reminded me a bit of Godard's more playful work. Amusingly Daisies was immediately banned (?!?!?!), but then was released in 1967... and won the Grand Prix at the Bergamo Film Festival. Second Run have done a great job here and this is really worthy of shelf-space in your DVD library. Highly recommended!  

Gary W. Tooze

 


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Distribution Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL

Second Run

Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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