JSS211 Sun, land and violence - classics of Macedonian cinema

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2017
Extent and Intensity
0/4/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: z (credit).
Mgr. Dime Mitrevski (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. Václav Štěpánek, Ph.D.
Department of Slavonic Studies - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Mgr. Pavel Pilch
Supplier department: Department of Slavonic Studies - Faculty of Arts
each odd Monday 12:30–15:45 N43
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The aim of this course will not be an exhaustive survey of Macedonian cinema, but an emphasis on cultural and production aspects of the movies, their histories being a mere instrument for understanding certain tendencies and creative solutions. During the course, all the participants will also be discussing the role of myth: the myth of the land, the director, the film, the actor, the story, to name a few.

After the course, the student will be able to analyze various aspects of cinematic language (sounds, colours, movements, etc.), as well as the so-called cultural texts that are present in the films (cultural phenomena, physical objects, historical artefacts, etc.).

After the course, the student will be acquainted with social-historical and cutlural context that provided the basis for the development of Macedonian cinema, and thus will be able to compare it in a wider perspective.
  • The core of the unit is comprised by a wide choice of Macedonian films, the chronological approach being often intertwined with the thematic one. Apart from general introduction (technical/organizational issues of the course, methodology, evaluation), the first lesson will be dealing with the beginnings of film in Macedonian lands, a period in which the documentary genre prevails.
  • Manaki brothers as pioneers of Balkan cinema (turn of the century until 20s), followed by the films of foreign documentarists who shot in Macedonia.
  • Miss Stone (1958). One of the first Macedonian full-length films will let us explore the ideological context of the Macedonian and Yugoslavian cinema after WW2. Of no lesser importance will be the film's production history and some of the cinematic techniques resembling the making of a comic book.
  • Tetoviranje (Tatooing, 1991) is considered a prototype of the turn from the so-called Yugoslavian to an independent Macedonian production. The movie will offer wide discussion on topics such as social relationships, politics, totalitarianism, and popular culture as inspiration for subversive movements in Yugoslavia.
  • Pred doždot (Before the rain, 1994), shortlisted as one of 1000 best films ever made by New York Times, is a masterpiece of American-Macedonian director Milcho Manchevski, which boasts a unique approach to storytelling in film. Questions to be discussed include: the question of reality vs realism in film, the concept of cyclical storytelling, the controversy of war documentaries etc.
  • Bal-Can-Can (2005), a parody of so-called Balkan films. The role of national, audio and visual stereotypes in the making of mainstream cinema is one of the topics that yield themselves to discussion.
  • Golemata voda (The Great Water, 2004), an adaptation of Zhivko Chingo's novel, the film is an international project by Prague-based director and FAMU lecturer, Ivo Trajkov.
  • Majki (Mothers, 2010), the last of Manchevski's full-length films, will close the course with questions about the meaning that symbols of the past have in modern Macedonian society.
    recommended literature
  • BORDWELL, David and Kristin THOMPSON. Umění filmu : úvod do studia formy a stylu. Translated by Petra Dominková - Jan Hanzlík - Václav Kofroň. 1. vydání. Praha: Akademie múzických umění v Praze, 2011. 639 stran. ISBN 9788073312176. info
  • RYCHLÍK, Jan and Miroslav KOUBA. Dějiny Makedonie. Praha: Lidové noviny, 2003. 458 s. ISBN 80-7106-642-7. info
  • Kibbley, Ann. Theory of the Image, in Manchevski Monograph, Skopje: ArsLamina – Publikacii: Bitsia systems, 2015, ISBN: 978-608-247-084-9. Dostupné z: http://manchevski.com/docs/Monograph_Milco.pdf
  • Zdraveski, Gjoko. Jazikot na sovremeniot makedonski film. Dostupné z: http://manchevski.com/docs/jazikot_na%20sovremeniot_makedonski_film.pdf
  • Kolozova, Katerina. On Manchevski’s Mothers: An Anatomy of Misoginy, in Skopje: ArsLamina – Publikacii: Bitsia systems, 2015, ISBN: 978-608-247-084-9. Dostupné z: http://manchevski.com/docs/Monograph_Milco.pdf
  • Stardelov, Igor. Na koja balkanska kultura i pripagjaat brakjata Manaki, in Manaki, Skopje: Kinoteka na Makedonija, 2003. Dostupné z http://makedonija.rastko.net/delo/13765
Teaching methods
Film projections followed by a discussion, team work, presentations.
Assessment methods
Active participation in discussions, 3-5 page essay
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught last offered.

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