Daisies in a Mine Field

I religiously oppose the idea of people disliking a film because they do not get it. Films are not a puzzle that only have one way to be put together, they are a nebulas that is defined as much by the viewer as the creator. However, I do not get this film. I understand the themes as they are clearly laid out in the first scenes. I get the tone and the confrontational style. I get the ending. I understand everything intellectually but after sitting down and rewatching this movie in class I did not understand it. As time has gone on I have realized that I do in fact understand it and that my reaction, which was completely valid, is purely reactionary. Basically Daises completely threw me off.

The story of Marie and Marie going around with the sole goal of being spoiled and acting as such, for sense the world is spoiled why can’t they be too. They are unlikable, degenerates who destroy everything in their radius of effect. The question is is where the film and their actions are being literal and when they are being fantastical. Cutting off your body parts so your head floats about your apartment is clearly fantastical but what about the countless dinner scenes that are possible but have the possibility of not being real, the change of colors and the lack of progression definitely create a dream like state that supports this idea. If we cannot know what the difference between the real and the unreal is then that complicates how we are to react to these actions. When this movie was released there was an incredibly visceral reaction that I can whole-heartedly relate too; but if we do treat these actions as real then we are allowing ourselves to narrow our view on this piece of art. This film takes advantage of cinema as a space separate from our reality creating a testing ground for the worldview of these Maries.

This film is experimental primarily in its purpose. To explore the polar opposite, almost the exaggerated fear of the USSR. It uses the technical elements as natural tools to explore that idea and not as in some other experimental films where the purpose is to directly challenge the medium. This is not to discount the technicals but to praise how the use of them has a practical purpose. There is a wonderful connection between these two elements which stimulates all sorts of thought.

Daisies is still a movie that I do not think I can fully appreciate. I cannot overcome my distain for the two protagonists, however this distain does build a better understanding of the film. It is such an interesting experience and a catch-22 where the more I am disgusted the more I can appreciate it. Much like our protagonists this movie is unquestionable beautiful but  absolutely deplorable. As with all art you may not love it but if it provokes thought it is worthy of some praise.


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