Praška filmska škola

The Prague film school[1] (Serbo-Croatian: Praška filmska škola, Прашка филмска школа), also known as the Czech film school[2] (Serbo-Croatian: Češka filmska škola, Чешка филмска школа) or the Prague wave[3] (Serbo-Croatian: Praški talas, Прашки талас) was a group of Yugoslav film directors who rose to prominence in the 1970s after graduating from the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). Five prominent Yugoslav directors born from 1944 to 1947 attended classes at FAMU: Lordan Zafranović (b. 1944), Srđan Karanović (b. 1945), Goran Marković (b. 1946), Goran Paskaljević (b. 1947), and Rajko Grlić (b. 1947).[4] Emir Kusturica, who was born is 1954, is sometimes also considered a member of the Praška škola. Cinematographers Živko Zalar (who has worked with Grlić, Karanović and Marković), Predrag Pega Popović (who has worked with Zafranović and Marković), Vilko Filač (who has worked with Kusturica), Valentin Perko, and Pavel Grzinčič,[5] also studied at FAMU.[4][6]

As they were all FAMU students at the end of 1960s and the beginning of 1970s, the directors of the Praška škola were mostly influenced by the directors of Czechoslovak New Wave, such as Miloš Forman, Jiří Menzel, and Oscar-winning FAMU professors, Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos.[7] The events of the Prague Spring and Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 also strongly influenced the Praška škola and formed the basis for the loosely defined group.[1]


The beginning of the emergence of the Praška škola came in 1968, when Grlić, as a student, directed his first professional television documentary entitled Mi iz Praga (Us from Prague).[8] The film, produced by TV Zagreb, focused on the interactions between the Yugoslav students in Prague. In this film, it was stated that Marković had enrolled first in FAMU, prompting the others to follow in his steps.[9] The first feature film directed by a Praška škola member was Zafranović's Sunday (Serbo-Croatian: Nedjelja) (1969), starring Goran Marković,[10] followed by Karanović's Društvena igra (1972) and Grlić's Whichever Way the Ball Bounces (Serbo-Croatian: Kud puklo da puklo) (1974), which were praised by the modernism-influenced film critics, but not yet universally accepted by the wider Yugoslav audience.

However, the second half of the 1970s brought fame to the members of the group, and the term Praška škola was coined by critics after the success of its members at several Yugoslav and international film festivals. In 1976, the TV series Grlom u jagode, written by Grlić and Karanović and directed by Karanović, was highly successful in Yugoslavia. The same year, Paskaljević received the Golden Arena for Best Director award at the Pula Film Festival for his first feature film Beach Guard in Winter (Serbo-Croatian: Čuvar plaže u zimskom periodu). In 1977, Marković's debut film Special Education (Serbo-Croatian: Specijalno vaspitanje) won the FIPRESCI award at the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg. In 1978, all four main prizes at the Pula Film Festival were awarded to films directed by former FAMU students: Zafranović's Occupation in 26 Pictures (Serbo-Croatian: Okupacija u 26 slika), Grlić's Bravo maestro, Paskaljević's The Dog Who Loved Trains (Serbo-Croatian: Pas koji je volio vozove), and Karanović's Miris poljskog cveća, for which Živko Zalar was also awarded the Golden Arena for Best Cinematographer.

Throughout the 1980s, the term Praška škola was associated with many successful films, popular with critics, as well as the general public. Seven out of ten Golden Arena for Best Director awards from 1976 to 1986 went to the Praška škola, with each member except for Marković receiving at least one. The success of two-time Palme d'Or winner Emir Kusturica, who attended FAMU several years after the other members of the Praška škola, further boosted the academy's reputation in field of Yugoslav cinema.

Recognition and criticism of the term

The legitimacy of the term Praška škola is sometimes doubted, as the members themselves never used the term to describe their work, and their work varied in artistic sensibility and directorial approach, sometimes considerably.[3] In 1990, Marković wrote a book entitled Češka škola ne postoji (The Czech School Doesn't Exist), in which he describes his days at FAMU, his relationships with the other students and their artistic similarities and differences.[2] In a 2001 interview, Karanović expressed strong opposition to the term, saying: "I think that everyone got extremely bored of the term Praška škola quite a while ago. I cannot deny that I studied in Prague, that I learned a lot — yet, not everything — there, and that I made lasting friendships with my colleagues from former Yugoslavia who studied there at the same time. Yet, I reckon that we are all very different artists and only in some of our films can one find some hints of influence from 1960s Czech cinematography. I appreciate the films by Rajko Grlić, Goran Marković, Goran Paskaljević, Lordan Zafranović and Emir Kusturica very much, but I think that all of them deserve to be observed individually, and not as a part of this or any other group."[11]

However, retrospectives of the Praška škola were held in Belgrade in 2001,[11] and in Zagreb in 2014, when all the initial Praška škola members, except for Karanović, met and reminisced about their Prague years.[1][12] In August 2014, Zafranović, Marković, Paskaljević and Grlić announced they would be filming together for the first time. Grlić and Marković said that an anthology film with the working title Nirvana was to be filmed in the memory of their professor Elmar Klos.[7][13]



Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU)

Elmar Klos (1966)

FAMU professor Elmar Klos

Lordan Zafranovic 80-ih

Lordan Zafranović

Goran Markovic by Branislav Mihajlovic

Goran Marković

Goran Paskaljevic KVIFF 2010

Goran Paskaljević

Rajko Grilić 280508

Rajko Grlić

Emir kusturica 72 9643

Emir Kusturica

V.Filac by Barbato

Vilko Filač

Valentin Perko, DOP

Valentin Perko


  1. ^ a b c Praška škola: Pametni filmovi mogu biti napravljeni za široku publiku (in Croatian)
  2. ^ a b Goran Marković - Tri priče o samoubicama (knjiga priča), bi(bli)ografija (in Serbian)
  3. ^ a b Dejan Dabić: Praška škola ne postoji (in Serbian)
  4. ^ a b Istočnoevropski filmski fenomen (in Croatian)
  5. ^ Pavel Grzinčič - Biography (in Slovene)
  6. ^ Goran Marković: Šezdesetosmaši su krivi za sve (in Serbian)
  7. ^ a b Novi kadrovi: Goran Marković - intervju (in Serbian)
  8. ^ Rajko Grlić - Biography (in Croatian)
  9. ^ Elvis J. Kurtovich: Češka škola Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Lordan Zafranović, Pega Popović i Goran Marković: Debitanti snimaju film "Nedjelja" (1968) (in Croatian)
  11. ^ a b Srđan Karanović: Ne pripadamo istoj fioci (in Serbian)
  12. ^ Studenti slavne praške filmske škole ponovno se susreću u Tuškancu (in Croatian)
  13. ^ Zajednički erotski film reditelja iz bivše Juge (in Serbian)

External links

Academy of Performing Arts in Prague

The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (Czech: Akademie múzických umění v Praze, AMU) is a university in the centre of Prague, Czech Republic, specialising in the study of music, dance, drama, film, television and multi-media. It is the largest art school in the Czech Republic, with more than 350 educators and researchers, and 1500 students.The academy consists of three faculties: a Film and TV School (FAMU); Music and Dance Faculty (HAMU); and Theatre Faculty (DAMU), offering Bachelor, Masters, and Doctoral level courses, as well as conducting artistic research, and in some departments also research in art history and theory. AMU has two cross-faculty pedagogical facilities: a Languages Centre and a Sports, Rehabilitation and Movement Centre. The university also has two facilities outside Prague designed for residential multi-day creative projects.

Acid Western

Acid Western is a subgenre of the Western film that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s that combines the metaphorical ambitions of critically acclaimed Westerns, such as Shane and The Searchers, with the excesses of the Spaghetti Westerns and the outlook of the counterculture of the 1960s. Acid Westerns subvert many of the conventions of earlier Westerns to "conjure up a crazed version of autodestructive white America at its most solipsistic, hankering after its own lost origins".

Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague

The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (Czech: Filmová a televizní fakulta Akademie múzických umění v Praze) or FAMU is a film school in Prague, Czech Republic, founded in 1946 as one of three branches of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. It is the fifth oldest film school in the world. The teaching language on most courses at FAMU is Czech, but FAMU also runs certain courses in English. The school has repeatedly been included on lists of the best film schools in the world by The Hollywood Reporter.

In the 1960s and 1970s, several young directors from Yugoslavia were FAMU students (Rajko Grlić, Srđan Karanović, Emir Kusturica, Goran Marković, Goran Paskaljević and Lordan Zafranović). All of these directors would become very successful in the following decades, prompting the coinage of the term Praška filmska škola ("Prague film school"), or Praški talas ("Prague wave"), which is sometimes considered a prominent subgenre of the Yugoslav cinema.

Goran Marković

Goran Marković (Serbian Cyrillic: Горан Марковић, pronounced [ˌɡǒran ˈmaːrkoʋit͜ɕ]) (born 24 August 1946) is a Serbian film and theatre director, screenwriter, writer and playwright. He has directed approximately 50 documentaries, 11 feature films and 3 theatre plays. He has also written five books.

Goran Paskaljević

Goran Paskaljević (Serbian Cyrillic: Горан Паскаљевић; pronounced [ɡɔ̌ran paskǎːʎɛvit͡ɕ]; born 22 April 1947) is a Serbian film director.

List of apocalyptic films

This is a list of apocalyptic feature-length films. All films within this list feature either the end of the world, a prelude to such an end (such as a world taken over by a viral infection), and/or a post-apocalyptic setting.

Lordan Zafranović

Lordan Zafranović (born 11 February 1944) is a Czech-Croatian film director, and a major figure of the Yugoslav Black Wave. He lives in Prague and in Zagreb.

Meat pie Western

Meat pie Western, also known as Australian Western or kangaroo Western, is a broad genre of Western-style films or TV series set in the Australian outback or "the bush". Films about bushrangers (sometimes called bushranger films) are included in this genre. Some films categorised as meat-pie or Australian Westerns also fulfil the criteria for other genres, such as drama, revisionist Western, crime or thriller.

The term "meat pie Western" is a play on the term Spaghetti Western, used for Italian-made Westerns, relating in both cases to foods are regarded as national dishes.

Opera film

An opera film is a recording of an opera on film.

Rajko Grlić

Rajko Grlić (born 2 September 1947) is a Croatian film director and producer. He is a professor of film theory at Ohio University and artistic director of the Motovun Film Festival in Motovun, Croatia.

Romanian New Wave

The Romanian New Wave (Romanian: Noul val românesc) is a genre of realist and often minimalist films made in Romania since the mid-aughts, starting with two award-winning shorts by two Romanian directors, namely Cristi Puiu's Cigarettes and Coffee, which won the Short Film Golden Bear at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival, and Cătălin Mitulescu's Trafic, which won the Short Film Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival later that same year.

Silent film

A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound (and in particular, no audible dialogue). In silent films for entertainment, the plot may be conveyed by the use of title cards, written indications of the plot and key dialogue lines. The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, the introduction of synchronized dialogue became practical only in the late 1920s with the perfection of the Audion amplifier tube and the advent of the Vitaphone system. The term "silent film" is a misnomer, as these films were almost always accompanied by live sounds. During the silent-film era that existed from the mid-1890s to the late 1920s, a pianist, theater organist—or even, in large cities, a small orchestra—would often play music to accompany the films. Pianists and organists would play either from sheet music, or improvisation. Sometimes a person would even narrate the intertitle cards for the audience. Though at the time the technology to synchronize sound with the video did not exist, music was seen as an essential part of the viewing experience.

The term silent film is a retronym—a term created to retroactively distinguish something. Early sound films, starting with The Jazz Singer in 1927, were variously referred to as the "talkies," "sound films," or "talking pictures." Within a decade, the widespread production of silent films for popular entertainment had ceased, and the industry had moved fully into the sound era, in which movies were accompanied by synchronized sound recordings of spoken dialogue, music and sound effects.

Most early motion pictures are considered lost because the nitrate film used in that era was extremely unstable and flammable. Additionally, many films were deliberately destroyed because they had little value in the era before home video. It has often been claimed that around 75 percent of silent films have been lost, though these estimates may be inaccurate due to a lack of numerical data.

Srđan Karanović

Srđan Karanović (Serbian Cyrillic: Срђан Карановић, pronounced [ˌsř̩d͜ʑan kaˈrǎːnoʋit͜ɕ], born 17 November 1945) is a Serbian film director and screenwriter. He has directed 17 films since 1968. His film Nešto između was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival. A Film with No Name (Za Sada Bez Dobrog Naslova) won the Golden Tulip Award at the Istanbul International Film Festival in 1989.

He is currently a professor of film directing at FDU (Faculty of Dramatic Arts) in Belgrade.

His 2009 film Besa was selected as the Serbian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards but it did not make the final shortlist.

Valentin Perko

Valentin Perko, Slovenian cinematographer and director of photography, was born April 8, 1950, Ljubljana. He is the son of the painter Lojze Perko, and brother of painter Tomaž Perko and psychologist Andrej Perko.

Perko obtained a degree in photography in 1977 at FAMU in Prague, Czech Republic (Filmová a Televizní Fakulta Akademie Múzických Umění v Praze). His career took off as a cinematographer of documentary and commercial films, while also being active in television production. His works include many short and feature films with various directors.

Perko's cinematographical expressive style is especially evident in the following films: Dih (1983), Maja in vesoljček (1988), Do konca in naprej (1990), Triangel (1991), Morana (1993), Ekspres, ekspres (1996), Brezno (1998) and television film Pet majskih dni (1997).

He is the cinmeatographer of awarded experimental film Valcer za Tavžentarjeva dva (1981), followed by Učna leta izumitelja Polža (1982), Nobeno sonce (1984), Sonce za dva (1986), Cpprnica Zofka (1988), Herzog (1995), Napisan list (2000), and Director of Photography in Petelinji zajtrk (2007). Television films include Paralele (1987), Vaški učitelj (1993), Steber (1997) and 5 episodes TV series Novi svet (2003).

Since 2009 Valentin Perko has worked as a senior lecturer at AGRFT (Slovenian Academy for Theatre, Television, Radio and Film, Ljubljana, Slovenia) and is also Dean of Camera Department.

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