Central European Cinemas within the Context of the World Cinema

Display Schedule

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
311CEW0 exam 3 2 hours (45 min) of instruction per week, 57 to 72 hours of self-study English winter

Subject guarantor

Nicholas David HUDAC

Name of lecturer(s)

Nicholas David HUDAC


This course is part of a two-course sequence, one in each semester. Students can take either part without prerequisite, or both, if they have time and interest. Films, lectures, and readings will be different in both semesters. The first semester will focus on a avant-garde movement and traditions which have shaped Central European Cinema from within, while the second semester will focus more specifically on the cinematic history of the four Visegrad countries in Central Europe.

Central Europe has long been known as an artistic and intellectual island within the greater European sphere. Although ravaged by war, foreign occupation, and totalitarian governments for much of the last few centuries, Central Europe has managed to survive and often thrive as centers of culture and artistic experimentation. This course will focus on films from several influential areas in Central Europe with the goal of examining how this region’s history has impacted its culture by looking at avant-garde cinema and its influence on popular genre cinema. In addition to focusing on film theory, we will also be discussing cultural history and media theory, learning 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 the various cultures, visual and otherwise which inform cinema creation in this part of Europe.

While this syllabus gives a fairly accurate portrayal of the material we will cover, additional 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.

Learning outcomes

Throughout the semester, this course will teach students how to approach the cultural and historical elements which are the backbone of every film, while also applying film and cultural theory to a variety of visual media. Students will also gain a deeper appreciation of cultural history and how it relates to their own creative processes, with the aim of giving students tools useful in all aspects of the filmmaking process. Students will also learn how to present their ideas and analysis in a clear, concise, and above all, effective manner.

Prerequisites and other requirements




Vsevolod Pudovkin — Mother, 1926

Sergei Eisenstein — Battleship Potemkin, 1925, October

Robert Weine - Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 1920

Fritz Lang - M, 1931, Metropolis, 1927

Martin Frič - Hej Rup!, 1936, Jánošík 1935,

Vladislav Vančura - Marjika nevernica

Věra Chytilová Daisies, 1966

Jan Švankmajer —assorted short films (1964-1970)

Ester Krumbáchová - Murder of Enginer Devil, 1969

Jan Němec - A Report on the Party and the Guests, 1966

Pavel Juráček - Josef Kilián, 1963

Elo Havetta — Lilies of the Field, 1972, Celebration in the Botanical Garden, 1969

Dušan Hának Pictures of the Old World, 1964

Juraj Jakubisko - Birds, Orphans, and Fools, 1967

Ivan Pyryev - Cossacks of the Kuban, 1950

Martin Ťapak - My Native Land, 1954

Jerzy Kawalerowicz - Cellulose, 1953

Dušan Makavejev— W.R. : Mysteries of the Organism, 1972

Aleksandar Petrović — I Even Met Happy Gypsies 1967

Zelimir Zilnik — Early Works, 1968

Andrzej Munk - Eroica, 1958

Andzrej Wajda — Ashes and Diamonds, 1958

Krysztof Kieslowski — Decalogue I, 1988

Karel Plicka - The Earth Sings, 1933

Walter Rutmann - Berlin, Symphony of a Great City, 1925

Dziga Vertov — Man With a Movie Camera, 1929

Tarr Bela - Werckmeister Harmonies, 2000, Sátántangó, 1994 (excerpts only)

Andrej Tarkovsky— Solaris, 1972

Martin Šulik — The Garden, 1993

Tomáš Vorel — Smoke, 1990

Werner Herzog — Aguire : The Wrath of God, 1972

Rainer Werner Fassbinder — Berlin Alexanderplatz, 1980

Wim Wenders - Wings of Desire 1987


V.I. Lenin - “The Lenin Decree”, Sergei Eisenstein “The Method of Making Workers’ Films”

Siegfried Kracauer - “From Caligari to Hitler” Chapter 5

Andre Breton, “The Surrealist Manifesto”

Karel Teige “The Poetist Manifesto”

Jan Mukařovský, „A Note on the Aesthetics of Film “

Zdena Skupinová, „Sedmikrásky / Daisies“

Jana Dudková, “On Celebration in the Botanical Garden”

Petre Petrov, „The Industry of Truing: Socialist Realism, Reality, Realization“

Nina Power, “Blood And Sugar: The Films of Dušan Makavejev”

Bohdan Kosinski, Krysztof Kieslowski, et al. “Documentary Filmmakers Make Their Case”

Dziga Vertov “WE: Variant of a Manifesto"

Jerry White, “BRAKHAGE'S TARKOVSKY AND TARKOVSKY'S BRAKHAGE: Collectivity, Subjectivity, and the Dream of Cinema”

Václav Havel, Power of the Powerless

Jan Švankmajer - “The Decalogue”

Thomas Elsaesser — “Fassbinder Representing Germany”

Oberhausen Manifesto I & II.

Evaluation methods and criteria

This course will be graded according to 5 areas— class attendance, class participation, a 4-5 page midterm paper, consultations with me on the final project, and an in class final exam. The breakdown is here:

Class Attendance— 25%

Class Participation — 25%

Midterm Paper — 20%

2 Progress Meetings for Final Project 10% (5% for each meeting)

Final Project — 20%

Students must hand in all work and attend all meetings with me to get a final grade.


Instructor: Mgr. Nick Hudáč, Ph.D.

Office: Nám. Jana palacha 2, Katedra filmových studií, Filozofická Fakulta UK 406

Office hours: Friday 14:00-15:00 and online by appointment

Schedule for winter semester 2023/2024:

room 107
Room No. 1

(Lažanský palác)
(lecture parallel1)
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Mon 19:00–20:35 Nicholas David HUDAC Room No. 1
Lažanský palác
lecture parallel1

Schedule for summer semester 2023/2024:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans