The Czechoslovak New Wave was originally published in 1985 and was quickly established as the world's leading authoritative English-language text. A study of the most significant movement in post-war Central and East European cinemas, it examines the origins of a movement against the political and cultural developments of the 1960s leading to the Prague Spring of 1968. Peter Hames also summarizes key aspects of Czech and Slovak histories between the wars and in the 1940s and 1950s. Directors discussed include Milos Forman, Jan Svankmajer, Jiri Menzel, Jan Nemec.
In Czechoslovakia, in the 1960s, artists began to realize that the aesthetics of social realism contrasted with the realities of daily life; a movement of film arose in response to the politics and history of the nation. This work collects candid interviews with the creators of the Czech New Wave film movement (1960–2000). Their work put Czech film on the map of world cinema, generating two Oscars for Best Foreign Film, but the official critique marked them as decadent, pessimistic, and reactionary. The work contains sixteen uncensored interviews with filmmakers such as Jan Nemec, Jirí Menzel, Saša Gedeon, and Jan Sverák, who describe the struggle to realize their visions in a constantly shifting political landscape: from the mid-1960s, through the repressive “normalization” after the Soviet occupation in 1968 (more films were banned in 1970 than during the previous twenty years of Communism), and after the Velvet Revolution of 1989. The interviews give portraits of some of the most talented figures in film, revealing artists searching for individual and national identity, who describe living and making film in the Czech Republic now and in the past, explore how foreign films influence Czech film, and speculate on the future of film. Each interview includes a short biography, filmography, and list of awards. The work is bookended by essays giving background on the political and economic situations leading up to and after the Velvet Revolution.
The cultural liberalization of communist Czechoslovakia in the 1960s produced many artistic accomplishments, not least the celebrated films of the Czech New Wave. This movement saw filmmakers use their new freedom to engage with traditions of the avant-garde, especially Surrealism. This book explores the avant-garde's influence over the New Wave and considers the political implications of that influence. The close analysis of selected films, ranging from the Oscar-winning Closely Observed Trains to the aesthetically challenging Daisies, is contextualized by an account of the Czech avant-garde and a discussion of the films' immediate cultural and political background.
The Industry and Artistry of East Central European Film
Author: Dina Iordanova
Publisher: Wallflower Press
Category: Performing Arts
Cinema of the Other Europe: The Industry and Artistry of East Central European Film is a comprehensive study of the cinematic traditions of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia from 1945 to the present day, exploring the major schools of filmmaking and the main stages of development across the region during the period of state socialism up until the end of the Cold War, as well as more recent transformations post-1989. In encouraging a more inclusive and comprehensive understanding of European cinema, much needed for the new unified Europe `enlarged' towards its Eastern periphery, this book maps out the interactions, key concerns, thematic spheres and stylistic particularities that make the cinema of East Central Europe a vital part of European film tradition. Cinema of the Other Europe is thus a timely appraisal of Film Studies debates ranging from the representation of history and memory, the reassessment of political content, ethics and society, the rehabilitation of popular cinema, and the rethinking of national and regional cinemas in the context of globalisation.
The core volume in the Traditions in World Cinema series, this book brings together a colourful and wide-ranging collection of world cinematic traditions - national, regional and global - all of which are in need of introduction, investigation and, in some cases, critical reassessment. Topics include: German expressionism, Italian neorealism, French New Wave, British new wave, Czech new wave, Danish Dogma, post-Communist cinema, Brazilian post-Cinema Novo, new Argentine cinema, pre-revolutionary African traditions, Israeli persecution films, new Iranian cinema, Hindi film songs, Chinese wenyi.
The term 'New Wave' conjures up images of Paris in the early 1960s: Jean Seberg and Jean Paul Belmondo, the young Jean-Pierre Leaud, the three protagonists of Jules and Jim capering across a bridge, all from the films of French filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut. The impact of the French New Wave continues to be felt, and its ethos of shooting in real places, with non-professional actors and small crews would influence filmmakers as diverse as John Cassavetes and Martin Scorsese to Lars von Trier's Dogme 95 movement, all of whom sought to challenge the dominance of traditional Hollywood methods of both filmmaking and storytelling. But the French were not the only new wave, and they were not even the first. In New Waves in Cinema, Sean Martin explores the history of the many New Waves that have appeared since the birth of cinema, including their great forebears the German Expressionists, the Soviet Formalists and the Italian Neorealists. In addition, Martin looks at the movements traditionally seen as the French New Wave's contemporaries and heirs, such as the Czech New Wave, the British New Wave, the New German Cinema, the Hollywood Movie Brats and Brazilian Cinema Novo. The book also covers other new waves, such as those of Greece, Hungary, documentary - Cinema Verité and Direct Cinema - animation, avant garde and the so-called No Wave filmmakers. New Waves in Cinema also explores the differences - and similarities - between the concept of a 'new wave' and a national cinema, citing, among others, the example of the new Iranian cinema, which has given us directors as important as Abbas Kiarostami and the Makhmalbaf family, examines resurgent trends in the national cinemas of Mexico, Japan, American independent cinema and concludes with an examination of the most celebrated movement of the 1990s and 2000s, Dogme 95. New Waves in Cinema makes a convincing case for the necessity for the continued existence of new waves and national cinemas in the face of Hollywood and American cultural imperialism.
Analysis of 24 films including: People of the mountains, Ashes and diamonds, Knife in the water, A shop on the high street, Closely observed trains, Daisies, Man of marble, Colonel Redl, The decalogue (Dekalog), Satantango, The garden, Alice (directed by Jan Svankmajer).
The cinema has been the pre-eminent popular art form of the 20th century. In Cinemas of the World, James Chapman examines the relationship between film and society in the modern world: film as entertainment medium, film as a reflection of national cultures and preoccupations, film as an instrument of propaganda. He also explores two interrelated issues that have recurred throughout the history of cinema: the economic and cultural hegemony of Hollywood on the one hand, and, on the other, the attempts of film-makers elsewhere to establish indigenous national cinemas drawing on their own cultures and societies. Chapman examines the rise to dominance of Hollywood cinema in the silent and early sound periods. He discusses the characteristic themes of American movies from the Depression to the end of the Cold War especially those found in the western and film noir – genres that are often used as vehicles for exploring issues central to us society and politics. He looks at national cinemas in various European countries in the period between the end of the First World War and the end of the Second, which all exhibit the formal and aesthetic properties of modernism. The emergence of the so-called "new cinemas" of Europe and the wider world since 1960 are also explored. "Chapman is a tough-thinking, original writer . . . an engaging, excellent piece of work."—David Lancaster, Film and History
The 1960s was famously the decade of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. It was also a decade of revolution and counter-revolution, of the Cuban missile crisis, of the American intervention in Vietnam, of economic booms and the beginning of consumerism (and the rebellion against it). In Hollywood, the genres which had held audiences captive in the 1940s and 50s - musicals, Westerns, melodramas - were losing their appeal and their great practitioners were approaching retirement. The scene was therefore set for new cinemas to emerge to attract the young, the discriminating, the politically conscious and the sexually emancipated. Making Waves, Revised and Expanded is a sharp, focused, and brilliant survey of the innovative filmmaking of the 1960s, placing it in its political, economic, cultural and aesthetic context - capturing the distinctiveness of a decade which was great for the cinema and for the world at large. Geoffrey Nowell-Smith pays particular attention to a handful of the most remarkable talents (Godard, Antonioni, Oshima) that emerged during the period and helped to make it so special. Nowell-Smith updates his classic text with a focus on 1960s Japan and the burgeoning New York scene.
Alternative Perspectives on Adaptation Theory and Practice
Author: William Verrone
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Category: Performing Arts
Adaptations have occurred regularly since the beginning of cinema, but little recognition has been given to avant-garde adaptations of literary or other texts. This compelling study corrects such omissions by detailing the theory and practice of alternative adaptation practices from major avant-garde directors. Avant-Garde films are often relegated to the margins because they challenge our traditional notions of what film form and style can accomplish. Directors who choose to adapt previous material run the risk of severe critical dismay; making films that are highly subjective interpretations or representations of existing texts takes courage and foresight. An avant-garde adaptation provokes spectators by making them re-think what they know about film itself, just as much as the previous source material. Adaptation and the Avant-Garde examines films by Peter Greenaway, Jean-Luc Godard, Guy Maddin, Jan Svankmajer and many others, offering illuminating insights and making us reconsider the nature of adaptation, appropriation, borrowing, and the re-imagining of previous sources.
The Munich crisis of 1938, in which Great Britain and France decided to appease Hitler's demands to annex the Sudentenland, has provoked a vast amount of historical writing. The era has been thoroughly examined from the perspectives of Germans, French, and British political establishments. But historians have had, until now, only a vague understanding of the roles played by the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, the country whose very existence was at the very center of the crisis. In Czechoslovakia Between Stalin and Hitler, Igor Lukes explores this turbulent and tragic era from the new perspective of the Prague government itself. At the center of this study is Edvard Benes, a Czechoslovak foreign policy strategist and a major player in the political machinations of the era. The work looks at the first two decades of Benes's diplomacy and analyzes the Prague Government's attempts to secure the existence of the Republic of Czechoslovakia in the treacherous space between the millstones of the East and West. It studies Benes's relationship with Joseph Stalin, outlines the role assigned to Czechoslovak communists by the VIIth Congress of the Communist International in 1935, and dissects Prague's secret negotiations with Berlin and Benes's role in the famous Tukhachevsky affair. The work also brings evidence regarding the so-called partial mobilization of the Czechoslovak army in May 1938, and focuses on Stalin's strategic thinking on the eve of the World War II. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was difficult for Western researchers to gain access to the rich archival collections of the East. Czechoslovakia Between Stalin and Hitler makes ample use of these secret archives, both in Prague and in Russia. As a result, it is an accurate and original rendition of the events which eventually sparked the Second World War.
Quart here extends her previous writings on what she terms `the best narrative cinema: women-centered cinema' and feminist filmmaking. Quart addresses American, Western European, and Eastern European directors, closing with Third World examples. Arguing that independent filmmaking best serves the quest for a woman's voice and vision, Quart chronicles the survival of women directors. She traces a heritage of women directors inside the Hollywood system and beyond. . . . This excellent study . . . [is] recommended for undergraduates in film and women's studies. Choice The current level of activity among women directors is unequalled in the history of feature films. This unprecedented study examines major contemporary women directors of narrative feature film--their themes, their art, and the circumstances under which they work. Quart contends that women are creating a film language and film sensibility that are unique, strong, and--until now--unexplored. Her discussion centers on the ties between women directors, rather than on a survey of women who direct films. Beginning with the antecedents to today's burgeoning number of women directors, the study progresses to American women directors. Subsequent chapters focus on womenn directors in Western Europe and Eastern Europe, with some attention as well to Asia and Latin America.
Cinema and Experiment in the Czechoslovak Military
Author: Alice Osborne Lovejoy
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Category: Performing Arts
During the 1968 Prague Spring and the Soviet-led invasion and occupation that followed, Czechoslovakia's Army Film studio was responsible for some of the most politically subversive and aesthetically innovative films of the period. Although the studio is remembered primarily as a producer of propaganda and training films, some notable New Wave directors began their careers there, making films that considerably enrich the history of that movement. Alice Lovejoy examines the institutional and governmental roots of postwar Czechoslovak cinema and provides evidence that links the Army Film studio to Czechoslovakia’s art cinema. By tracing the studio's unique institutional dimensions and production culture, Lovejoy explores the ways in which the "military avant-garde" engaged in dialogue with a range of global film practices and cultures. (The print version of the book includes a DVD featuring 16 short films produced by the Czechoslovak Ministry of Defense. The additional media files are not available on the eBook.)
Czech animator Jan Svankmajer is one of the most distinctive and influential of contemporary filmmakers. As a leading member of the Prague Surrealist Group, his work is linked to a rich avant-garde tradition and an uncompromising moral stance that brought frequent tensions with the authorities in the normalization years following the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Svankmajer's formative influences have been the pre-war surrealists, the Prague of Rudolf II, experimental theatre, folk puppetry and, above all, the political traumas of the past 50 years. Like his contemporaries--including playwright president Vaclav Havel, and, in exile, novelist Milan Kundera and filmmaker Milos Forman--Svankmajer's dominant life experiences have been the realities of the Stalinist system, both the explicit state terror of the 1950s and the Brezhnevist neo-Stalinism of the 1970s and the 1980s. After training in puppetry and working in the Prague theatre, he made his first film in 1964. He directed a number of important films in the 1960s, including the live-action and Kafkaesque Byt (The Flat, 1968) and Zahrada (The Garden, 1968) and consolidated his international reputation with Moznosti dialogu (Dimensions of Dialogue) in 1982. Since then, he has continued his highly visual and poetic approach in two feature-length films, Neco z Alenky (Alice, 1987) and Lekce Faust (Faust, 1994). As a filmmaker, Svankmajer is constantly exploring and analyzing his concern with power, fear and anxiety, confrontation and destruction, magic, the irrational and the absurd, and displays a bleak outlook on the possibilities for dialogue. In challenging accepted narrative, the bourgeoisie of realism (nezval), and the thematic and formal conventions of the mainstream media, Svankmajer's work is startlingly dynamic, subversive, and confrontational.
This book brings to the surface the lines of experimentation and artistic renewal appearing after the exhaustion of Neorealism, mapping complex areas of interest such as the emergence of ethical concerns, the relationship between ideology and representati