Film theory - narratology

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Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
306FTN ZK 2 26PS English winter

Subject guarantor

Michal REICH

Name of lecturer(s)

Michal REICH

Learning outcomes of the course unit


Mode of study


Prerequisites and co-requisites


Course contents

Students take a look at narrative as the structure in which the meaning of the story's inner logic is played out, look at how the meaning of a narrative is shaped, and look at narrative and story as the interaction of action, time and space, and characters, these aspects are explored on the basis of a parallel comparison with „narratology“ and the „syntax of narrative and the story“ in the theory of literature and as applied in film.


•Film and its place among other types of art

•Eisenstein and his film theory

•Dziga Vertov and his theory of film composition

•The Montagers

•Composition theories of documentary (Gauthier, Vertov, Peleshyan)

•Film theory of the 30s (Balász, Arnheim, Kracauer)

•Grammar of film language

•Stylistic figures

•Types of composition

•Pre-shooting unities (continuity); orientation, principles of graphic linkage, rhythmic linkage, tonality of light

•The curve of film shot's maturing and its relation to the system

•Mechanism of linkage (storytelling): questions and answers, centripetency and dispersion; series and rows (Płaźewski, Kučera)

•Vertical montage

•Mise-en-scene and montage

•Building of space-time in film (line of an action, frame, open and closed form, time)

•Basics of film semantics (Strauss, Peirce, Saussure)

•Tarkovsky's critique of Soviet Montagers and his own concept of film composition

•Film and psychoanalysis

•Psychology of perception (φ effect, retina, Purkinje effect, Gestalt psychology etc.)

•Subject and methodology of film theory

•Specifics of editing and composition of animated films, types of animation techniques

•Types of non-narrative cinematography

Recommended or required reading

Grammar of the Film Language

by Daniel Arijon

Paperback: 624 pages

Publisher: Silman-James Pr; Reprint edition (September 1991)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 187950507X

ISBN-13: 978-1879505070

The Five C's of Cinematography: Motion Picture Filming Techniques

by Joseph V. Mascelli

Paperback: 251 pages

Publisher: Silman-James Pr; 1st Silman-James Press ed edition (June 1998)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 187950541X

ISBN-13: 978-1879505414

Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay

Andrew Horton, University of California Press, ISBN-10: 0520221656, ISBN-13: 978-0520221659

Assessment methods and criteria

Activity in lectures

Completion of on-going tests

Completion of the final exam.



Schedule for winter semester 2020/2021:

room 311
Room No. 311

(Lažanský palác)

(lecture parallel1)
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Thu 13:10–14:45 Michal REICH Room No. 311
Lažanský palác
lecture parallel1

Schedule for summer semester 2020/2021:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans