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.
Towards the end of 1942 a young prisoner Maruska (Magda Vásáryová) awaits in her cell in prison in Breslau (after war Polish Wroclaw) her execution. After death sentence it was ninety nine ... See full summary »
Sixteen-year-old students of a grammar school are supposed to write essays on "Love". The class best student Andrea (Jaroslava Schallerová) writes about a patriotic love to a country as she... See full summary »
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 19th century 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
In the 1960s British TV screened a good number of European Fairy tales like 'The Singing Ringing Tree' for children (probably because they were cheap product). They were often strange and grotesque evoking a real sense of the uncanny nature of pre-sanitised fairy tales. Valerie and Her Weeks of Wonders is made in this vein. Redemption may market the film as a 'virgin comes into sexuality' 70s softcore film, but it offers something more than this. There is an enormous amount of care taken in the film's visual composition and the music. Standing on the border between horror and fairy tale it brings out the latent combination of erotic desire, aggression and fantasy that links the two genres. At times the film borders on the sublime with its evocation of dreamlike imagery. Centred around Valerie's quest to discover the identity of her parents they are revealed to be duplicitous shape changers - at one moment a handsome man or woman and the next a hideous vampire beast. Eschewing the rules of Hollywood linearity and character continuity this film re-creates subjective space and affords us a welcome space in which to dream.
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