FAVBPa020 Film Theory till 1945

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2023
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 5 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
doc. Mgr. Pavel Skopal, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Zdeňka Pitrunová (assistant)
Guaranteed by
doc. Mgr. Pavel Skopal, Ph.D.
Department of Film Studies and Audiovisual Culture – Faculty of Arts
Supplier department: Department of Film Studies and Audiovisual Culture – Faculty of Arts
Tue 12:00–13:40 C34, except Tue 14. 11., except Tue 12. 12.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 8 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
The course will analyse various discourses on cinema, as well as contemporary reflections of cinema. We will focuse, e.g., on the relation between the cinematography and modernity. The development of period discourses related to cinema and influential theoretical concepts (Ejzenštejn, Kulešov, Epstein, Kracauer, Benjamin, etc.) will be monitored in a primarily national and linguistic frameworks (United States, Russia, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia), but will take into account the transnational dimension of film avant-garde and the film club movement. The students will be familiarized with the main trends in the discussion on the media and will understand the contemporary theoretical concepts in a broader institutional and socio-cultural context.
Learning outcomes
After finishing this course, students will be able to formulate the main changes in the theoretical, critical and methodological reflection of cinema, as well as understand them in the relevant historical context. The knowledge provided by the lectures will give the students the capacity to understand how the history of discourses on cinema can be analysed. Besides, they will acquire the competence for understanding the contemporary research perspectives in a wider perspective and recognize continuities, as well as paradigmatic changes.
  • - Modernity and early cinema
    - USA: the discourse on cinema spectatorship, sociological research of cinema reception
    - Germany: Kinodebatte; reformist movement in cinema, left-wing and right-wing film press
    - France: disourses on cinema as science, art, educational tool, etc.
    - Russia: Proletkult, LEF, montage aesthetics
    - Czech lands: early cinema discourse and moral panic; leftist avant-garde and film
  • Hake, Sabine: The Cinema’s Third Machine. Writing on Film in Germany, 1907-1933 (1993)
  • Singer, Ben: Melodrama and Modernity. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001
  • Tsivian, Yuri: Early Cinema in Russia and Its Cultural Reception. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998
  • Abel, Richard: French Film Theory and Criticism. Princeton University Press, 1993
  • Anděl, Jaroslav - Szczepanik, Petr: Stále kinema. Antologie českého myšlení o filmu, 1904-1950. Praha: NFA, 2008
Teaching methods
Elements of the so-called reversed teaching will be applied, and selected contemporary texts will be discussed and interpreted during the lecture. A web-based textbook is available to students.
Assessment methods
Assigned work during the semester (40%), final written test (knowledge of lectures - 40%, interpretation of texts - 20%).
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught once in two years.
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2019, Autumn 2021.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
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