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Army Film and the Avant Garde

Cinema and Experiment in the Czechoslovak Military

edited by: Alice Osborne Lovejoy
published by
: Indiana University Press
pp: 322
ISBN: 9780253014887
price: Hardback $ 75,12  | £ 57.00
         Paperback $ 30,25 | £ 24.99  (only £18.74 if you quote
         CSL0215LSOH when you order here)

Book's frontpage

During the 1968 Prague Spring and the Soviet-led invasion and occupation that followed, Czechoslovakia's Army Film studio was responsible for some of the most politically subversive and aesthetically innovative films of the period. Although the studio is remembered primarily as a producer of propaganda and training films, some notable New Wave directors began their careers there, making films that considerably enrich the history of that movement. Alice Lovejoy examines the institutional and governmental roots of post-war Czechoslovak cinema and provides evidence that links the Army Film studio to Czechoslovakia’s art cinema. By tracing the studio's unique institutional dimensions and production culture, Lovejoy explores the ways in which the "military avant-garde" engaged in dialogue with a range of global film practices and cultures.

 

Table of contents

Aknowledgements
Note on Translation

Introduction

1. A Deep and Fruitful Tradition: Jiří Jeníček, The Film Group, and Cinema Culture of the 1930s
2. All of Film is an Experiment: Postwar Documentary, Postwar Reconstruction
3. The Crooked Mirror: Pedagogy and Art in Army Instructional Films
4. Every Young Man: Reinventing Army Film
5. A Military Avant Garde: Documentary and the Prague Spring

Coda

Appendix: Companion DVD Contents
Filmography
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Reviews

"Lucidly organized, deeply researched, and excellently written, this book brings into view an entire dimension of Czech film that has hitherto been invisible."
by John Kenneth MacKay, author of Inscription and Modernity: From Wordsworth to Mandelstam

"Avant-garde army films? It sounds like a fantasy from an updated Good Soldier Sveik! Film historian Alice Lovejoy discovered that the energy of the pre-war Czech Avant-garde survived the Soviet take-over in the Czech army film unit, where young artists and ideological misfits figured out how to fulfil their military service while producing visually stunning short films that helped create the Czech New Wave of the 1960’s. Lovejoy restores these sometimes funny, sometimes poignant and always innovative films to their proper place in film history, while explaining the unique cultural politics that allowed them to blossom beneath the noses of the Stalinist government."
by Tom Gunning, author of The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity

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