Monday, 24 March 2014

OBIT - VERA CHYTILOVA


Tremendously sad news from Prague, as one of the world's foremost directors - and perhaps its most revolutionary - has died. Vera Chytilova was not only among the very best female filmmakers, she was among the very best filmmakers, period. Her masterwork, 1966's Daisies, was denounced and banned in her home country of Czechoslovakia, and her subsequent film, We Eat the Fruit of the Trees of Paradise, saw her barred from making films by the Soviet authorities. Part of the Czech New Wave of the 1960s, a contemporary of Milos Forman and Jiri Menzel, she continued to make films in her own thoroughly unique style right up to the last decade. She died after a long illness on Wednesday the 12th of March, aged 85, and is survived by her children Stepan and Tereza. Among the accolades she received in her career were the Elvira Notari Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1998 for her film Traps, and an Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema honour at the 2000 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. This is upsetting news for her friends, family and acquaintances, and also for the film industry. We have been privileged to have lived alongside her and to have been allowed the chance to experience her wonderful artistic talent.