The History of World Cinema 1

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Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
373DSVK1 ZK 3 6T Czech winter

Subject guarantor


Name of lecturer(s)


Learning outcomes of the course unit

The aim of the study is, in three semesters, to acquire a basic knowledge of the development of international cinematography from pre-history to the 1980s. This will include the most significant types, genres, directions, styles and personalities from the viewpoint of the whole scope of cinematography, including politcal, economic, artistic relationships, life-style and the like. Basic lecture information is supplemented by study of the course literature and individual viewings of recommended films.

The lectures and screenings are the fundamentals of the knowledge necessary for a better comprehension of related specialized lectures.

Mode of study

Lecture supplemented by film samples and study projects.

Information from lecture is supplemented by study of presented literature and individual „close reading“ of recommended films.

Prerequisites and co-requisites

Lectures are intended for 1st year students and only requires a knowledge of world history, geography, literature, visual arts, theatre and the like at the primary school level. A certain level of English is required for reading of subject literature and subtitles of presented films.

Course contents

Three-semester lectures on the history of world film conceived as a comprehensive introduction to the history of world film for first- and second-year students. The lectures attempt, in accordance with so called new film history, to familiarize students not only with the aesthetic and biographic level of the history of cinematography (artistically important artists and directions, their mutual relationships, links to other arts, etc.) but also to socio-cultural, economic and institutional resolution, which the cinematography of that period to a significant extent determines and which is retroactively influenced. The course is supplemented with regular screenings of selected films.

Requirements to pass the course:

  1. reading of all required literature
  2. viewing of required films

An inseparable part of the lecture material in each lecture is viewing required films which at least one will be shown in the school at the lecture, and others must be viewed by the students independently. With exceptions, some films screened during lecture are all required films available on VHS or DVD at t he FAMU Videolibrary.

Attention: part of the exam is a verification of knowledge fo the films and their contextual interpretation.

  1. Weds. 2. 10. | Early film (1895-1907) and the history of media

Lecturer: Vít Janeček

Screening: Werner Nekes: Media Magica Parts I.(Durchsehenkunst), IV.(Bildraum) and V (Wundertrommel), films by the Brothers Lumiér and Georgese Méliése, Brighton School films (DVD)

  1. Weds. 9. 10. Soviet Montage Cinematography of the 20th Century

Lecturer: Martin Čihák

Screening: October (Ten Days that Shook the World) (1927, Sergej Ejzenštejn) National Film Archives film

2nd film Mother (1926, Vsevolod Pudovkin)

  1. Weds 16. 10. Documentary film up to 1940

Lecturer: Vít Janeček

Screening: Man with a Movie Camera (1929, Dziga Vertov) - DVD

2nd film: The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (1927, Esfir Šub)

  1. Weds. 23. 10. | Germany 1920s

Lecturer: Tereza Czesany-Dvořáková

Screening: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920, Robert Wiene, DVD)

2nd. film: The Last Laugh (Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1924)

  1. Weds. 30. 10. A Decade (1908 – 20) in the USA and Evrope: Establishment of narration

Lectureer: Jan Bernard

Screening: The Phantom Carriage (1921, Victor Sjostrom) + The Birth of a Nation (David Wark Griffith, 1915, samples)

2nd. film: The Birth of a Nation (David Wark Griffith, 1915)

  1. Weds. 6. 11. USA 1920s, forming of the studio system

Lecturer: Jan Bernard

Screening: Greed (1924, Erich von Stroheim, DVD)

2nd. film: The General (1927, Buster Keaton)

  1. Weds. 13. 11. | Avant garde of the 1920s-30s

Lecturer: Martin Čihák

Screening: 1.-7. film: Walther Ruttmann: Opus 1, Hans Richter: Rhythmus 21, Hans Richter: Vormittagsspuk, Oskar Fischinger: Studie 7, Oskar Fischinger: Komposition in Blau, Man Ray: Le Retour à la Raison , Fernand Léger: Ballet Mécanique , René Clair: Entr’acte. Walter Ruttmann: Opus III (silent verision, 1min,B/W), Oskar Fischinger: Studie No.8 (B/W, sound version,5min)., Len Lye: Colour Box, Len Lye: Trade Tattoo. - DVD

  1. Weds. 20. 11. Hollywood 1930-45 I. (Classic film figures)

Lecturer: Jan Bernard

Required film: Citizen Kane (1941, Orson Welles)

2nd. film: Gone with the Wind (1939, Victor Fleming)

  1. Weds. 27. 11. Hollywood 1930-45 II. (genre film)

Lecturer: Jan Bernard

Screening: Stagecoach (1939, John Ford)

2nd. film: The Big Sleep (1946, Howard Hawks)

  1. Weds. 4. 12. Element of silent aesthetics in contemporary film

Lecturer: Veronika Klusáková

Screening: The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius, 2011)

2nd. film: Juha (Aki Kaurismäki, 1999)

  1. Weds. 11. 12. Transition to Sound, Color and Style of the 1930s

Lecturer: Veronika Klusáková

Screening: Singing in the Rain (Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly, 1952)

2nd. film: Under the Roofs of Paris (René Clair, 1930)

  1. Weds. 18. 12. France 1920s

Lecturer: Vít Janeček

Screening: The Horse Ate the Hat (1928, René Clair) from the National Film Archives

2nd. film: Ménilmontant (Dimitrij Kirsanoff, 1926) + short films by Jean Epstein

Recommended or required reading


David Bordwell; Kristin Thompson: Film History: An Introduction. McGraw-Hill, 2003. česky: Dějiny filmu, AMU-LN, Praha 2007 nebo

W.W.Dixon-G.A. Foster: A Short History of Film , Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2008

(příslušné kapitoly)

Co je fotografie, 150 let fotografie - katalog, Videopress, Praha 1989


obecné dějiny kinematografie:

David Cook: A history of narrative film. New York 1990.

Gilles Deleuze: Film 1. Obraz-pohyb. Praha 2000.

Gilles Deleuze: Cinema 2. Time-image. London 1989.

Enno Patalas; Ulrich Gregor: Dejiny filmu. Bratislava 1968.

Editing documents:

Kevin Brownlow: Universal Horror ( Historie hororu), 1998, 96´ ;; D.W. Griffith: Father of Film (D.W. Griffith ? Otec filmu I-III), 1993, 150´; Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow, 1987; I'm King Kong!: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper, 2005; Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic, 2004

Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood (Evropská kinematografie - Jiný Hollywood)

Martin Scorsese, Michael Henry Wilson: A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (Století filmu), 1995, 225´

Gangsterská kronika I, II, 1998,100´

Assessment methods and criteria

Each (of the three) semesters in the series is concluded with an oral exam in which one of the fundamental topics is tested. The second is supplementary and the third is about a film. (execept in very exceptional and significant cases, knowledge of the exact year of production of a film or phenomenon will not be required: +/- 5 year precision is sufficient, ex; half of the 20s, turn of the 40s to 50s, beginning of the 60s, etc.)

Attendance is a requirement for grading - attendance at screenings is required - 3 absences are allowed.


The aim of the lecture series and screenings is, in three semesters, to provide a basic knowledge of the development of world cinema from its pre-history to the 1980s, particularly the most important types, genres, trends, styles and figures from the viewpoint of overall cinematic depository, including political, economic and artistic contexts from the viewpoint of the lifestyle of the population, etc.

Lectures and screenings are the foundation of knowledge necessary for a better understanding of the contexts of specialized lectures.

Further information

This course is an elective for all AMU students

Schedule for winter semester 2019/2020:

room 124
Projection Room

(Lažanský palác)
(lecture parallel1)
room 107
Room No. 1

(Lažanský palác)
(lecture parallel1)
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Wed 09:00–11:25 Veronika KLUSÁKOVÁ Projection Room
Lažanský palác
lecture parallel1
Wed 11:30–13:55 Veronika KLUSÁKOVÁ Room No. 1
Lažanský palác
lecture parallel1

Schedule for summer semester 2019/2020:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans