Narrative construction in Czech silent cinema storytelling : National and international tendencies

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KOKEŠ Radomír D.

Rok publikování 2022
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis In my paper, presented at Globalizing Screenwriting: 14th Screenwriting Research Network Conference in Vienna, I asked two more general questions that are related – and for which such a small and peripheral national cinema like Czech cinema seems to be a suitable explanatory tool. In doing so, I focused on the silent period, when Czech cinema represented a relatively diverse and still rather unexplored field of artistic possibilities. This paper presented project follows the research tradition of the poetics of cinema, so it works with a combination of detailed analysis of films, knowledge of particular scripts and screenwriting manuals, and taking into account contemporary practices within the filmmaking community. First, I am interested in what identifying features of international models of screenwriting and narrative can tell us about such cinema, whose production is primarily intended for a local audience. In what ways have filmmakers responded to these models? What has this meant for the shape of local screenwriting and films – and to what extent? Second, I am interested in what modes of narrative construction alternative to the internationally established practices of the 1920s can tell us about international narrative norms. What patterns of other options can we discern in the silent period and why? In my paper, I developed these two perspectives using the example of the Czech silent period. We can observe (a) several synchronic alternatives of the narrative construction of feature films and (b) successive diachronic shifts in the artistic choices of specific filmmakers. As the ability of Czech films to compete with foreign films in Czech distribution grew more robust, the dilemma of following and not following the Hollywood model entered a new context.
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