Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)
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Critic Reviews for Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
There is no clearly-defined story; the film's logic is that of the subconscious, its images those of the Gothic fairytale and the psychiatrist's couch, and its overall effect is stunning.
A born director like Mr. Jires can be forgiven a lopsided beauty that still commands full attention.
If you aren't too anxious about decoding what all this means, you're likely to be entranced.
Moments of pure and frightening clarity, mixed with images that can't be reconciled with any kind of reality. These dreams don't offer coherence, but rather a strong, deep feeling that can take hours to shake.
Like the best fairy tales, "Valerie" is voluptuously suggestive, a bit dangerous, and perfectly legible on its own subterranean terms.
Audience Reviews for Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
The symbolism is a bit too obvious and calculated, with not much room for subtlety and being a tad sloppy towards the end, but this impressive film relies on an efficient surreal atmosphere like Alice in Wonderland in a Czech sociopolitical context.
Well that was... interesting. I'm still not sure what to make of this movie. Valerie goes through a series of insanity from one day to the next. There are carnivals, weddings, her gradmother's death, her vampire cousin, her weird brother, and that priest/monster/devil guy. I really didn't know what to make of the end. Not bad, exactly, but it's a whirlwind of interesting crazy stuff going on.
On the day she gets her period, a young girl's life turns into a strange dream of lusty priests and vampire infestations. This surreal fairy tale exploring juvenile fears of predatory adults and the scary world of sex was a late bloomer in the Czech New Wave, but stands as one of the most fascinating relics of the movement.
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