Vera Chytilová – Ovoce stromu rajskych jime aka Fruit of Paradise [+Extras] (1970)


review by Daniel Bird- you can find more HERE :
Věra Chytilová’s Ovoce stromů rajských jíme (Fruit of Paradise, 1969) is an audacious combination of allegorical narrative and the avant-garde. Above all, it plays with the idea of searching for “truth” and questions our ability to accept it. It is a reflection on the nature of the film itself, as well as a personal testament of its reputedly “cynical” director’s commitment to “telling the truth.” It is a vivid testimony to the role of the “avant-garde” in 1960s Czechoslovak cinema. It is an ascendant of what Eisenstein described as “intellectual cinema.”

However, montage is more or less dispensed with, in favour of a plethora of visual associations and mental juxtapositions that are orchestrated through a succession of semi-improvised “happenings.” As Peter Hames has acknowledged, it boldly defies any “realistic” interpretation, yet encourages “active interpretation,” demanding that the viewer construct his or her own meaning.

Like its precursor Sedmikrásky (Daisies, 1966), it is thoroughly “post-modernist” in the sense of the playfulness implied by the term. Yet, contrary to the opinion of its state sponsor, Chytilová’s reckless playfulness doesn’t invite nihilism. Ovoce stromů rajských jíme may be more obscure than Sedmikrásky, but it remains a resoundingly “mainstream avant-garde” film, a brilliantly executed aesthetic exercise. It is formalism at its most beautiful.

I have not shared the Czechoslovak experience, nor can I share Chytilová’s quasi-feminist point of view. Mine, like appreciation of any kind, is an outsider’s view.

Eng srt: