Barrandov’s Co-productions: The Clumsy Way to Ideological Control, International Competitiveness and Technological Improvement



Rok publikování 2015
Druh Kapitola v knize
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis As the analysis in this essay demonstrates, co-productions served a wide range of overlapping goals and purposes, and it is difficult to categorize them simply according to a conservative or a liberal tendency of cultural policy – in some cases, even individual projects themselves were labelled in a seemingly contradictory way. Furthermore, the expansion of the practice of co-production did not occur in parallel with a process of liberalization. Of course, cooperation with Western partners was inevitably related to a certain degree of liberalization in the cultural sphere, whereas the ‘preferred’ cooperation within the Bloc occasionally served the intentions of the Soviets. Nevertheless, the curbing of co-productions at the end of the 1950s by no means signified a final defeat of liberal tendencies, nor did it mark a shift away from direct competition with the West and a return to isolationism. Starting in the early 1960s, co-productions were perceived as a less effective, more expensive, clumsier mode of production that did not conform to the USSR’s offensive ambitions in the cultural sphere – ambitions that were manifested, for example, in the Soviet Ministry of Culture’s move to force Czechoslovak State Film to organize the festival in Karlovy Vary on a biannual basis in order to ‘make a space’ for the Moscow International Film Festival in the alternating years. How the individual national film industries of the Soviet Bloc coped with the situation is another question: Barrandov, for example, participated in an alternative strategy of exchange among film practitioners by providing experienced filmmakers for production at DEFA. In the second half of the 1960s, the Czech film studio resumed co-operation with Western partners on projects that served to supplement the efficiency of the talented representatives of the Czechoslovak New Wave.
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