A School of Opportunism. Short Filmmakers Caught in a Web of Commissions and Dealings

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Year of publication 2014
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Iluminace : časopis pro teorii, historii a estetiku filmu
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Mass media, audiovision
Keywords Czech nonfiction film; Czech documentary film; useful cinema; nontheatrical film
Description This essay examines short film production in Czechoslovakia in the late 1940s and early 1950s, examining how power structures and the imperatives of the commissioning production system influenced film content, form, and style. Considering the editorial boards to have been the most influential agents in this process, the essay focuses on their motivations as well as those of others involved therein. State archives, filmmaker's personal collections, and editorial board meeting reports reveal how filmmakers and the editorial boards clashed over ideological issues and time pressure. An analysis of the boards' editorial criteria also reveals which professional standards were valued within this system. These included an emphasis on documentary's educational and ideological values, on the popular hero, on recycling as much stock footage as possible, and on emulating Soviet documentaries.
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