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Course, academic year 2023/2024
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Czech Film History - OBZO10
Title: Czech Film History
Guaranteed by: Děkanát (41-DEKAN)
Faculty: Faculty of Education
Actual: from 2011
Semester: both
E-Credits: 4
Hours per week, examination: 1/1, Ex [HT]
Capacity: winter:unknown / unknown (unknown)
summer:unknown / unknown (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
4EU+: no
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: not taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Teaching methods: full-time
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
priority enrollment if the course is part of the study plan
you can enroll for the course in winter and in summer semester
Guarantor: doc. RNDr. Miroslava Černochová, CSc.
Class: Volitelné předměty pro PS
This course will focus on the history of the Czech / Czechoslovak film. It shall cover its whole path from the invention of cinematography through the twentieth century until the current period, but a special attention will be paid to the singular time of the Czech film - the New Wave of the 60s. The trends of the Czech film will be put into context not only with the period´s social and cultural milieu but also with the world film production. We will go through the basic facts of the cinematographic production in the Czech lands, but will more closely focus on the most important changes in the film language and the issues of the films. An important place will be given to screening of the extracts of the films as well as the whole pieces and discussion over it. Special lessons will be dedicated to singular film forms - the animated film and the documentary film.
Last update: CERNOCHO/PEDF.CUNI.CZ (11.02.2011)
Aim of the course

The students should understand the main general problems and tendencies of the Czech / Czechoslovak film in the 20th century and the beginning of 21th century and get a general overview of its development. They shall know the main characteristics, personages and works of its most important expressions. By the end of the course they will be able to analyze and interpret the mutual relation between film art and social development.

Last update: CERNOCHO/PEDF.CUNI.CZ (11.02.2011)

Brož, Jaroslav: The Path of Fame of the Czechoslovak Film, Prague 1967

Hames, Peter: The Czechoslovak New Wave; University of California Press 1985.

Hames, Peter: Dark Alchemy: The Films of Jan Svankmajer; Flicks Books, Trowbridge 1985

Hames, Peter (Ed.): The Cinema of Central Europe. Wallflower Press 2004

Liehm, Mira, Liehm, Antonín J.: The Most Important Art: East European Film After 1945, University of California Press, L.A. 1977

Liehm, Antonín, J.: Closely Watched Films; Int. Arts and Science Press, Inc. 1974.

Škvorecký, Josef: All the Bright Young Men and Women; Toronto 1971.

Štoll, Martin: Hundred years of Czech documentary film (1898-1998) : a brief history

of Czech non-fiction film, Praha : Malá Skála, 2000.


Last update: CERNOCHO/PEDF.CUNI.CZ (11.02.2011)
Requirements to the exam


A general interest in world film and art is expected. The course will be based on active participation. The lecturer will help students to follow cinema programs and inform them on major film events in the Czech Republic. Readings will be assigned weekly and discussed subsequently.

Class attendance:

mandatory - only 1 (unjustified) absence will be tolerated

one mandatory extra screening


Active Participation: 15%

Two Mini Tests: 10% + 10%

Mid-term Paper - an analyze of a film (2 pages): 15%

Final Paper - an essay on the work of one of the members of the New Wave (5 to 8 pages) + its presentation in the class: 25%

Final written test: 25%

Class Protocol:

Students are asked not to eat in class and to put their cell phones on silence.

Plagiatorism is unacceptable.

Last update: CERNOCHO/PEDF.CUNI.CZ (11.02.2011)

1st lesson

The invention of the cinematography - the newest art form. Technical and historical stimulations for it. Developing of the film language. The silent era in the Czech lands. Jan Kříženecký, the father of the Czech film; Gustav Machatý and the peak of the Czech silent film.

2nd lesson

The coming of the sound. Main means of the film language. The main tendencies of the period. The War era and the Czech film in the context of the Protectorate policy.

The post-war film, changed conditions of the Czechoslovak film artists with the new political order. The peak of the Czech classical film.

Pre-reading: Petr Čornej - history of 1st half of 20th century - Mini Test 1

Screening: Romeo, Juliette and the Darkness (dir. Jiří Weiss)

3rd lesson

Main world trends in the cinematography after WWII. Italian neo-realism, French New Wave.

Pre-reading: Cesare Zavattini: On Neorealism

Screening: Breathless (dir. Jean-Luc Godard)

pre-screening: Shop on the Main Street (dir. Ján Kadár, Elmaar Klos)

4th lesson

Preconditions for the arise of the New Wave. The "First New Wave". František Vláčil, Karel Kachyňa, Elmar Klos, Jan Kadár.

5th lesson

The beginning of the New Wave - the realistic approach. Miloš Forman, Ivan Passer, Jaroslav Papoušek.

Dead line of the mid-term paper.

Pre-reading: Interview with Miloš Forman

Screening: Loves of a Blonde (dir. Miloš Forman)

6th lesson

"Pearls of the Deep" as the manifesto of the New Wave. The allegorical approach.

Věra Chytilová.

Pre-reading: Petr Čornej - history of 2nd half of 20th century - Mini Test 2

Screening: Daisies (dir. Věra Chytilová)

7th lesson

Literary inspiration of the New Wave. Jan Němec, Jiří Menzel.

Pre-reading: Arnošt Lustig: Dark Casts No Shadow

Screening: Diamonds of the Night (dir. Jan Němec)

8th lesson

Czech animated film: the main techniques and art specifics of the form. Principal personages and works of the Czech animated schoul, Jiří Trnka; Jan Švankmajer.

Pre-reading: Hames, Peter: Dark Alchemy - The Films of Jan Svankmajer

Screening: Shorts by Jan Svankmajer; The Pied Piper of Hamelin (dir. Jiří Bárta)

9th lesson

The 70s and the 80s. The new social climate and consequences for the cinema.

Main genres and personages.

Dead line of the of the final paper outline.

Screening: My Sweet Little Village (dir. Jiří Menzel)

Pre-screening: Kolya (dir. Jan Svěrák)

10th lesson

The 90s. New conditions in the democratic society, the end of the state subsidized cinematography. New generation of filmmakers, generation of New Wave directors.

11th lesson

Current tendencies of the Czech film.

Dead line of the final paper. Presentations of the final papers. The final test.

12th lesson

Czech documentary film: specifics of the form; film and reality. Main protagonists in the course of its history; its current revival.

Screening: Shorts by Jan Špáta

Last update: CERNOCHO/PEDF.CUNI.CZ (11.02.2011)
Registration requirements

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Last update: CERNOCHO/PEDF.CUNI.CZ (11.02.2011)
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