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10. February 2022 | 20:15 - 23:00


Belgium/CSSR 1981. Director: Věra Chytilová. Dokumentary film. 84 mins. Digital. English and French Original language version

With her surrealist-inspired, anarchic works, Věra Chytilová gave cinema a new face in the 1960s. The Lecture & Film series “Between Surrealism and Subversion: The Films of Věra Chytilová” presents the director’s most important works with introductions by experts who situate Chytilová in the context of the current film studies debate.

The 1969 film PRAVDA, produced by the Dziga Vertov Group (including Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Henri Roger), exposed the latent capitalism of the Imagery of Socialism in images of Czechoslovak television and working-class life. Vera Chytilová, whom Godard interviewed in PRAVDA, also became a target of criticism, insofar as she was accused by the filmmakers of having an anti-Marxist (rather than an anti-communist) stance. “Chytilová = Zanuck and Paramount” – this was the formula Godard used to sharpen his criticism in PRAVDA. In her 1981 film CHYTILOVÁ VERSUS FORMAN, produced for Belgian television, Chytilová compares the course of her career with that of Miloš Forman, who, as a result of his emigration to the United States after the suppression of the Prague Spring, achieved world fame as a Hollywood director and, at the time of filming, was busy completing his film RAGTIME, which was nominated for eight Oscars. In her film, which is both self-reflection and a critical examination of her colleague, fundamental questions of both the cinematic and the political are put to the test.

Chytilovás had visited her colleague Forman in New York and London during the making of RAGTIME (1981). The conversation between her and the director reveals the impact of their different directorial biographies: Forman went into exile after the suppression of the Prague Spring, while Chytilová remained in Czechoslovakia.

Nicole Kandioler is Assistant Professor of Politics of the Media at the Institute of Theater, Film and Media Studies at the University of Vienna.

Lecture: Nicole Kandioler

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10. February 2022
20:15 - 23:00