Focus on Film History and Theory 2

Register Display Schedule

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
311FFHT2 ZK 2 42 hours (45 min) of instruction per semester, 19 to 29 hours of self-study English summer

Subject guarantor


Name of lecturer(s)


Learning outcomes of the course unit

By the end of the course students will:

-define certain trends in the history of the documentary and explain the “modes” as defined by Bill Nichols

-define avant-garde cinema and explain the various “types” of experimental filmmaking

-analyze sound and editing of any film and explain its peculiarities

-understand the vocabulary connected with the sound and editing

-explain various modes of production

-discuss the realistic trends in the history and nowadays

-discuss TV and its development

Mode of study


Prerequisites and co-requisites


Course contents

The main aim of the course is to prepare students to their state exam from film history and theory, therefore its content overlaps with the state exam questions. During the course following themes (and questions) will be covered:

-“Realistic” trends in cinema: kino-pravda, Italian neorealism, cinema vérité, Dogma, etc.

-Trends in contemporary cinema (post-2000)

-Types of Montage (Eisenstein typology; Christian Metz; continuity vs. discontinuity editing)

-Sound: types and functions

-The concept of avant-garde cinema: past, present, and future

-Documentary cinema: major trends, key names, modes of documentary

-Various modes of production and distribution in history and nowadays (distribution part)

-Television, its development, and formats

Recommended or required reading

BAZIN, André. What Is Cinema? Montreal: Caboose, 2009. Print.

BERNARD, Sheila Curran. Documentary Storytelling. New York: Routledge, 2015.

BORDWELL, David, THOMPSON, Kristin. Film Art: An Introduction. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2010. Print.

BORDWELL, David, THOMPSON, Kristin. Film History: An Introduction. The McGraw Hill Higher Education, International Edition, 2003. Print.

BORDWELL, David. On the history of film style. 2nd printing. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999. x, 322 s.

CALDWELL, John Thornton. Production Culture. Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television. Duke University Press Books, 2008.

COOK, David A. A History of Narrative Film. New York: W. W. Norton, 2016. Print.

DANCYGER, Ken. The Technique of Film and Video Editing. Routledge, 2010.

HAYWARD, Susan. Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts. New York: Routledge, 2000. Print.

CHION, Michel. Audio-vision : sound on screen. New York: Columbia University, 1994. 239 s.

KOZLOFF, Sarah. Invisible Storytellers: Voice-Over Narration in American Fiction Film. University of California Press, 1989. Print.

KOZLOFF, Sarah. Overhearing Film Dialogue. Ewing, NJ: University of California Press, 2000. Print.

LEGRICE, Malcolm. Abstract Film and Beyond. London: MIT Press, 1977.

Movies and Methods. Ed. NICHOLS, Bill. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1976 (vol. 1 + vol. 2). Print.

NICHOLS, Bill. Introduction to Documentary. Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2001.

PETERSON, James. Dreams of Chaos, Visions of Order: Understanding the American Avant-Garde Cinema. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1994.

REISZ, Karel. The Technique of Film Editing. New York: Routledge, 2009.

SONNENSCHEIN, David. Sound design: the expressive power of music, voice, and sound effects in cinema. Studio City: Michael Wiese Production, 2001. 243 s. ISBN 97-8-0941188-26-5

SITNEY, P. Adams. Visionary Film. The American Avant-Garde, 1943 – 2000. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

VERTOV, Dziga. Kino-Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov. University of California Press, 1984. Print.

Assessment methods and criteria

Students are expected to attend all classes. Participation to class discussion will be significantly taken into account in the final grade. Final Test on the material covered in the course, 10 questions, each for 5% of the grade.

The course grade will be calculated as follows:

Class Participation -50%;

Final test - 50%



Schedule for winter semester 2022/2023:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

Schedule for summer semester 2022/2023:

room 241
Room No. 3

(Lažanský palác)
(lecture parallel1)
exact dates TBS
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Fri 09:50–14:45 Petra DOMINKOVÁ Room No. 3
Lažanský palác
exact dates TBS lecture parallel1

The subject is a part of the following study plans