October 08, 2010
Valerie a týden divů
Lobos Fiser: Valerie and Her Week of Wonders soundtrack (1970)
Jaromil Jireš' Valerie a týden divů (Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, Czechoslovakia, 1970) is one of those haunting, dream-like films that once seen is difficult to forget. The sexual awakening of adolescent Valerie (Jaroslava Schallerová) provides the major theme, ornately rendered as a symbol-soaked gothic fairytale. Elements drawn from the horror genre operate in conjunction with the type of gentle soft-core art imagery that can be found in other European sexual initiation films of the 1970s, such as Emmanuelle (1974), Bilitis (1977) and The Story of O (Histoire d'O, 1975).
This heady generic mixture is well-suited to the film's focus on the ambiguous status of various thresholds and the mysteriousness of awakening sensuality, conflicting desires and duplicity. One of the seductive attractions of Valerie a týden divů is its magical trance-inducing quality. The carefully-crafted sets, the hypnotic harpsichord, flute and choir-based music, and the predominance of thematically significant white in the colour co-ordinated palette all add to the film's particular audio-visual ambience of artifice. In addition to the use of elliptical editing, the crystalline quality of the photography is simply stunning, capturing in some scenes the beauty of early summer light sparkling on water and illuminating the pastoral landscape, which is set against dark, decaying, cobweb-strewn crypts... more
Posted by Stiles