Valerie And Her Week of Wonders
by Jaromil Jireš
Once seen and never forgotten, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is a dream-like excursion into a symbol-laden gothic fairytale.
1970 | Czech Republic | 73 min | 35mm | M18 (Some Sexual Scenes) | In Czech with English subtitles
The film follows the bizarre adventures of an innocent bourgeois teenage girl experiencing puberty. Valerie is surrounded by a succession of sexual fantasies ruled by a vampire named Tchor. With the help of her magic earrings, she flees from his subtly sinister influence and embarks on an oneiric journey where Lewis Carroll and the Marquis de Sade could perfectly be her travelling partners.
With its non-linear story structure and characters that transform in the blink of an eye, the film twists and turns in the irrational manner of a dream. Events begin to unfold from Valerie's point of view, when her brother steals the pearl earrings she inherited from her apparently dead mother. The theft significantly coincides with the onset of her first period. From then on, Valerie is plunged into the strange world of adult desire, with its terrible and intriguing secrets.