Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)

aka Valerie a tyden divu
Article 3992 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 7-28-2012
Directed by Jaromil Jires
Featuring Jaroslava Schallerova, Helena Anyzova, Petr Kopriva
Country: Czechoslovakia
What it is: Arty free-form vampire flick, among other things

A thirteen year old girl named Valerie, just coming into adulthood, must contend with strange events in her life, including the arrival of potential lover and the appearance of a vampire-like creature known as Weasel.

Is this the artiest vampire flick since VAMPYR? I’m not really sure, but I will say this much; it’s the most compellingly arty vampire flick since that one, and on a simply visual level, it’s stunning. Storywise, it doesn’t make a lot of linear sense, though the central theme seems to be the perils of the girl’s budding sexuality. The story, such as it is, centers around a pair of earrings and the power they give her to resist the perils of the vampire, a lusty parish priest, and the knowledge of her own parentage. The movie is decidedly non-realistic; everything feels as if it comes out of a stream-of-consciousness Freudian fairy tale, and this tends to render some of its taboo subject matter (there’s lots of touches of incest, for example) bearable. There’s no way to adequately describe this one, but anyone demanding linear storytelling will want to stay away. Those willing to undergo more abstract movies may well find this one quite fascinating, as I did.

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