Katie Trumpener, University
Spring, 2000 (graduate and undergraduate
Throughout Eastern Europe, New Wave filmmaking emerged in the late 1950s as part
of a larger political and cultural de-Stalinization process and in response to earlier
modes of Communist film culture. This course follows the attempts of filmmakers
in Poland, the Soviet Union, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Czechoslovakia
and Yugoslavia to reform socialism (and the cinema as an institution), and their
search for forms adequate to describe political life and historical experience in
their full complexity.
PLEASE NOTE: Prior exposureto/knowledge of Eastern Europe, its languages and cinemas
NOT required. In our attempt to explore and reconsider the film history of a heterogeneous
region, in fact, we will need as a class to pool all of our collective knowledge!
Introduction. Modernism, Socialist Realism: clips from
Mother Krause Goes to Heaven (Piel Jutzi, Germany, 1930);
Kuhle Wampe (Slatan Dudow, Germany, 1932);
Fate of Women (Slatan Dudow, GDR, 1951)
Rethinking the War
The Cranes are Flying (USSR, Mikhail Kalatazov, 1957)
Ashes and Diamonds (Poland, Andrzej Wajda, 1958, 101 min.)
I Was Nineteen (GDR, Konrad Wolf, 1968)
Rethinking Style: Neorealism, Expressionism, Naturalism
Berlin, Schönhauser Corner (GDR, Gerhard Klein, 1957, video)
House Under the Rocks (Hungary, Károly Makk, 1958)
Lissy (GDR, Konrad Wolf, 1957, 89 m.)
Land of Angels (Hungary, György Révész, 1962)
Rethinking Power: Fascism, Stalinism
The Passenger (Poland, Andrzej
Munk, 1963, 1 hr.)
A Report on the Party and the Guests (Czech.
Nemec, 1966, 71 m.)
The Red and the White (Hungary, Miklos Jansco, 1968, 92 min.)
Cold Days (Hungary, András Kovács, 1966, 102 m.)
Love Affair: or, The Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator (Yugoslavia,
Dusan Majavejev, 1967, 70 min.)
Father (Hungary, Istvan Szabo, 1966, 89 min.)
Documenting Everyday Life
Born in 45 (GDR, Jürgen Böttcher, 1965/1989)
Loves of a Blonde (Czechoslovakia, Milos Forman, 1965, 88 min.)
Rural Life: Rethinking Culture, History, Engagement
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (USSR, Sergei Paradzhanov, 1965, 99)
Crystals (Poland, Krzysztof Zanussi, 1969, 76 m.)
Land of Suns (Hungary, Ferenc Kósa, 1965/67)
Memory, Reconstruction, Contingency
Man of Marble (Poland, Wajda, 160 m.)
The Mirror (USSR, Andrei Tarkovsky, 1977)
Blind Chance (Poland,
Kieslowski, 118 m.)
Requirements. For all: one 1-page position paper, circulated to classmates
via email or handout.
Undergraduates: 2 papers (each c. 5 pages, due
May 31) PLUS final exam (during
Graduates: 1 final paper (15-20 pp.), due
Suggested topics for position paper:
Your own questions about/a reading of a specific film on the syllabus (please circulate
in electronic or paper form in ADVANCE of class
Historical and/or film-historical background to a specific film or director or
Historical background on relevant aspects of Communist film culture; crises in postwar
E. European history
Read up and report on controversies around a particular film or set of films (i.e.
GDR "Rabbit" Films of 1965-6) or director (i.e. Paradzhanov, Tarkovksy).
Film censorship in a particular country or era
Any aspect of studio organization, fan culture, film criticism, film reception.
Comparisons between Eastern and Western European (or American) film culture. For
those who lived in or visited pre-1989 Eastern Europe: A report on remembered conditions
for film viewing (cinephile culture; atmosphere of cinema; cult films; films on
Report (including summary of argument and, if appropriate, critique of position)
on books below, other relevant books or important article on individual films or
Suggested preliminary reading
Liehm, The Most Important Art: Soviet & Eastern
European Film After 1945.
Antonin Liehm, Closely Watched Trains
Istvan Nemeskürty, Word and Image--History of the Hungarian Cinema
Boleslaw Michalek and Frank Turaj, The Modern Cinema of Poland.
Ralf Schenk, ed., Das zweite Leben
der Filmstadt Babelsberg 1946-92.
Allen, eds., DEFA.
Daniel Goulding, ed., Post New Wave Cinema in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
Back to Course Materials