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Politics, Visuality, and Experimentation : Czech and Slovak Cinema from the 1950’s to Present

Class at Faculty of Arts |

This text is not available in the current language. Showing version "cs".Syllabus

Lecture 1              Let’s Start at the Beginning: Or, What IS Central Europe?

Screening: Jiří Menzel, Closely Watched Trains. (CZ)

Keywords: Central Europe, History, Ethnicity

Required Readings:

Milan Kundera, “The Tragedy of Central Europe”

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities,  “Introduction” p.1-7,

Tony Judt, Borderlands, “The Coming of the Cold War” pp. 140-149  

Lecture 2             What is ‘National’ Cinema, and How Do We Talk About It?

Screening: Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos – The Little Shop on Main Street (SK)

Keywords: Nationalism, Movie Making

Required Readings:

Ľubica Mystríková, The Cinema of Central Europe, “Obchod na korze, A Shop on the High Street” pp. 97 – 105

Andrew Higson, Film and Nationalism “The Concept of National Cinemas” Pp. 52-67  

Lecture 3              Politics and Form  

Screening : Věra Chytilová, Daises (CZ)

Keywords: Formalism, Subversion, Gender


Peter Hames, The Czechoslovak New Wave “Věra Chytilová” p.183-201

Zdena Skupinová, „Sedikrásky / Daisies” p. 129-136

David Bordwell, Film History: An Introduction, p.406, 428.

Supplemental Reading:

Egon Bondy, Selected Poems, Vaclav Havel, et al. “Charta 77”  

Lecture 4         Politics and Films: The Art of the Trial

Screening: Jan Nemec, Report on the Party and the Guests (CZ)

Keywords: Allegory, Dissidence, Show Trials


Peter Hames, The Czechoslovak New Wave – “Jan Nemec” 167-183, Franz Kafka, "Before the Law”  

Lecture 5       A New Wave of Seeing  (Midterm 1 Due on Friday)

Screening: Pavel Juráček, Josef Kilián, Case for a Rookie Hangman

Keywords: Visuality, Experimentation

Readings: Martin Esslin— “The Theatre of the Absurd”        

Lecture 6       Surreal Slovakia: The Slovak Avant-Garde

Screening: Juraj Jakubisko, Birds, Orphans, and Fools (SK)

Keywords: Ethnocentrism, The Slovak Problem

Peter Hames: The Czechoslovak New Wave “The Slovak Wave: Juraj Jakubisko, Elo Havetta, and Dušan Hanák” p.212-223

Martin Votruba, “Historical and National Background of Slovak Filmmaking”, KinoKultura.  

Lecture 7       The Genre Film in the New Wave

Screening: Oldřích Lipský, Limonádový Joe (or the Horse Opera) (CZ)

Keywords: Genre, Spectacle, Escapism


Thomas Schatz, “Film Genre and the Genre Film”

Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle, (excerpts)  

Lecture 8           Folklore and Fantasy: Slovak Surrealism Revisited

Screening: Elo Havetta, Party in the Botanical Garden (SK)

Keywords: Visual Culture, Folklore, Magical Realism


Jana Dudková, “Celebration in the Botanical Garden” KinoKultura.  

Lecture 9          Black Comedy

Screening : Miloš Forman, The Firemen’s Ball (CZ)

Keywords: Black Humor, Farce, Slapstick

Required Readings:

Peter Hames, The Czechoslovak New Wave  “The Forman School: Milos Forman” pp.106-127

Milena Jelinek, “An Interview with Miloš Forman” Cross Currents.;rgn=subject;size=100;view=image;q1=Forman%2C+Milos  

Lecture 10:      Slovakia Lost in Time (Midterm 2 Due on Friday)

Screening: Dušan Hanák, Pictures of the Old World (SK)

Keywords: Slovakia, National Identity, Nationalism,

Required Reading:

Karel Plicka - “Songs of the Slovak Mountains”

Alexander Dubček, “Action Program”  

Lecture 11:      Slovak Fracturalism

Screening: Štefan Uher, The Sun in A Net

Keywords: Lyricism,

Required Reading:

Nick Hudáč, “Seeing the Truth Through Smoked Glass”  

Lecture 12:      On the Wind, A Storm Darkly Gathers

Screening: Juraj Herz, The Creamator

Keywords: Lyricism, Surrealism, Expressionism

Required Reading:

Die Brücke Manifesto, Ladislav Fuks, “The Creamator” (Excerpts)

Final Paper Due January 10

This text is not available in the current language. Showing version "cs".Annotation

Výuku zajišťuje předmět Waves of the Future Cinema s kódem ADV0000352. Výuka probíhá v češtině a v angličtině.

Bounded by the Germanic Empires to the West, the Russian Empire and Soviet Union to the East, Hungary and the former Ottoman holdings to the South, the Czech and Slovak lands have long been a site of conflict and creation. This course will explore the incredi-bly rich cinematic tradition of thought provoking and entertaining films produced in the areas of the Czech Republic (the primary area of focus), and Slovakia from the years between 1962 and 1972. In addition to watching films, we will also be discussing cine-ma theory and approaches to “reading” films, not only as movies, but also as multi-faceted cultural artifacts. To this end, our readings will contain primary source materials on cinema history, historical research, film theory, and literature intended to broaden our understanding of Czech and Slovak culture, cinematic and otherwise.

While this syllabus gives a fairly accurate portrayal of the material we will cover, addi-tional material may be assigned (and assigned material may be dropped or altered) at any time as the semester progresses, in order to better suit the needs and interests of the class.