7.2/10
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Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)

Valerie a týden divu (original title)
Inspired by fairy-tales such as Alice in Wonderland and Little Red-Riding Hood, "Valerie and her Week of Wonders" is a surreal tale in which love, fear, sex and religion merge into one fantastic world.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Babicka / Elsa / Matka / Rusovláska
Petr Kopriva ...
Orlík
Jirí Prýmek ...
Tchor-konstábl
Jan Klusák ...
Gracián
Libuse Komancová ...
Sluzka-novicka
Karel Engel ...
Kocí Ondrej
Alena Stojáková ...
Hedvika
Otto Hradecký ...
Statkár
Martin Wielgus ...
Tchor-father
Jirina Machalická ...
Kvetinárka
Michaela Klocová ...
Sluzka
Zdenka Kovárová ...
Sluzka
Bedriska Chalupská ...
Sluzka
Robert Nezval ...
Muzikant
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Storyline

A thief awakens Valerie, just 13, taking earrings left to her by her mother. By morning, the earrings have been returned, Valerie's first period has begun, and a troupe and a missionary have arrived in her Medieval town. The thief is Orick; he reports to a cloaked constable who may also be the missionary. Attention to sexuality is everywhere: Valerie's grandmother's puritanical nature, the missionary's sermon to the town's virgins, the parish priest's attempt to seduce Valerie, and lusty adults at play. Valerie's nascent sexuality puts her in great danger. Can she navigate the passage from innocence to experience, a route teaming with vampires, a murderer, and an obscure family tree? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 October 1970 (Czechoslovakia)  »

Also Known As:

I Valerie stin evdomada ton thavmaton  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jan Klusák originally planned on composing the score, but ultimately changed his mind because he was exhausted after acting in this film. See more »

Quotes

[subtitled version, when Valerie sees Gracian hanged]
Orlik: It's nothing, just a hanged man.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Growing Pains: Puberty in Horror Films (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

brilliant fable of adolescent awakening
20 May 2001 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

A masterpiece of erotic confusion, Valerie comes as a delightful introduction to prolific Czechoslovakian director Jaromil Jires, whose career spans five decades. Jires blends reality and illusion to the extent that a synopsis does a disservice to the film, yet the literary story would work quite well on its own. Jaroslava Schallerovà, only 14 years old at the time, plays Valerie, a pretty young girl who lives with her grandmother in a beautiful yet antiseptic house. Her boyfriend (or perhaps brother), who goes by the name Eagle, sets off a chain of unusual events when he steals her earrings. A troupe of actors, or perhaps a wedding procession, comes into town, bringing with it a man who may be a monstrous vampire but may also be Valerie's father. Soon after Valerie's grandmother either disappears or dies, her Cousin Else shows up at the house and bears more than a striking resemblance to the grandmother (indeed, I believe these characters are played by the same actress). Things progress much along these lines, with eventually Valerie experiencing a major reawakening. Jires films in an impressively sensual manner, creating a mood through imagery rather than plot point. At times, however, the details get rather confusing, which can unfortunately shift attention from the beautiful composition and editing to deducing narrative developments. Many sequences appear to occur within the story but then end with the suggestion that they have just been imagined, introducing a need to constantly second-guess one's perceptions. Schallerovà plays the role with stunning (perhaps genuine) innocence. Without overindulged serenity, Valerie mystifies and befuddles through an agenda of symbol-soaked imagery and fantastic storytelling.


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