Central European Cinemas within the Context of the World Cinema
Nicholas David HUDAC
Name of lecturer(s)
Nicholas David HUDAC
Learning outcomes of the course unit
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.
Mode of study
Lecture with excerpts of films followed by the screening of one complete selected film.
Prerequisites and co-requisites
The lectures do not presuppose any previous knowledge of Central European Cinematography therefore there are no conditions for registration.
The Visegrad region of 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, the Visegrad countries (Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, and Poland) have managed to survive and often thrive as centers of culture and artistic experimentation. This course will focus on films from four of the largest cultural groups in the Visegrad region Central Europe (Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, and Polish) with the goal of examining how this region?s history has impacted its culture by looking at the four regions? responses to identity, war, and domestic social problems. 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.
Recommended or required reading
To enhance our discussion of the texts in question, students are encouraged to bring their laptops or own printed copies of the texts to class. Readings that are marked ?Required? will be the main focus of the week?s lecture and discussion; students who are interested in the subject are encouraged to read the ?Supplemental? selections in order to get a deeper understanding of the critical theory or cultural/historical context of the week.
The full list of reading is available in FAMU International office (room 439).
Assessment methods and criteria
This course will be graded according to 4 areas? class attendance, class participation, a 10 minute midterm presentation and a 4-5 page final paper. The breakdown is here:
Class Attendance - 25%
Class Participation - 25%
Midterm Presentation - 30%
Final paper - 20%
This course will feature a weekly lecture and discussion section, with a mandatory screening attached. What this means in practice is that each week, I will deliver an introductory lecture on the week´s keywords and films (covering basic concepts, historical background information, theory, as well as excerpts from relevant films or visual media) and theme. For most weeks, the rest of the class time will be spent in active discussion of the week?s assigned readings, previously watched films, and so on. On weeks when presentations are scheduled, we shall work the presentations into the course of our discussions. Following that, there will be a short (5 minute) break for students to stretch their legs, smoke, get snacks, and so on, and then we will watch the week?s scheduled film.
One of the key skills taught in a college education is the ability to communicate clearly and concisely, while thinking critically about the material at hand.
Students are expected to complete one final essay (4 pages minimum, maximum 7), on the topic of their choosing. Suggested essay topics will be distributed two weeks before the midterm, but students are allowed to write on any theme that personally interests them as long it is discussed with me beforehand. Papers that do not meet the length requirements will be penalized. Students are always welcome to meet and discuss paper topics with me at any time, or via email.
Academic dishonesty: cheating and plagiarism will be treated in the appropriately severe manner. When writing papers, always use your own words and concepts; if quoting or appropriating from any outside sources (be they the Internet, books, articles, etc.) and/or scholars, always indicate that you are quoting and provide sources (Chicago Manual of Style footnotes, preferably). If you are unsure how to properly site a particular source, please ask me for advice. I?m always delighted to help.
Attendance and active class participation is a must, as are all screenings. As outlined in ECES?s attendance policy:
Regular and punctual class attendance is mandatory for all students. Absence of 180 minutes is allowed. Three or more absences (90 minutes each) lower the grade automatically (A to A-, A to B+ in case of 4 absences etc.)
Instructor: Mgr. Nick Hudáč
Time: Wednesdays 9-10:35 (lecture) 10:40-13:05 (screening)
Office: Nam. Jana palacha 2, Katedra filmových studií, Filozofická Fakulta 406
Office hours: Friday 14:00-15:00 and by appointment
Course may be repeated
This course is an elective for all AMU students
Schedule for winter semester 2020/2021:
Room No. 1
Schedule for summer semester 2020/2021:
The schedule has not yet been prepared
The subject is a part of the following study plans
- Directing for Dramatic Theatre in English (M.A.) (optional subject)
- Cinematography_1920 (optional subject)
- Cinematography_3_2021 (optional subject)
- Photography EN - Bachelor-1920 (optional subject)
- Photography EN - Master-1920 (optional subject)
- Cinema and Digital Media - Directing_1920 (required optional subject)
- Cinema and Digital Media - Directing 2020 (required optional subject)
- Erasmus (optional subject)