This book deals with film adaptations of literary works created in Communist Czechoslovakia between 1954 and 1969, such as The Fabulous World of Jules Verne (Zeman 1958), Marketa Lazarová (Vláčil 1967), and The Joke (Jireš 1969). Bubeníček treats a historically significant period around which myths and misinformation have arisen. The book is broad in scope and examines aesthetic, political, social, and cultural issues. It sets out to disprove the notion that the state-controlled film industry behind the Iron Curtain produced only aesthetically uniform works pandering to official ideology. Bubeníček’s main aim is to show how the political situation of Communist Czechoslovakia moulded the film adaptations created there, but also how these same works, in turn, shaped the sociocultural conditions of the 1950s and the 1960s.
About the Author
Table of Contents
1. Introduction.- 2. Adaptation as Subterfuge: Silvery Wind.- 3. Adaptation as Play: The Worlds of Jules Verne Come Alive.- 4. Adaptation as Challenge: Marketa Lazarová and Romance for Bugle.- 5. Adaptation as a Reflection of the Zeitgeist.- 6. Epilogue.
What People are Saying About This
“Petr Bubeníček focuses on six outstanding film adaptations of literary works, released in Czechoslovakia between 1954 and 1969. Despite the communist ideological pressure, these films were able to push against the prescribed boundaries. The subversion ranged from the subtle Aesopian language and nostalgia for the past, to the harsh disillusion and open criticism of the Stalinism. The book’s exceptional merit is its precise analysis of poetic and cinematic techniques, presented in the complicated sociocultural conditions of the 1950s and 1960s.” (Jiří Holý, Charles University, Czech Republic)
“This is an absorbing exposition of film adaptations from a period in Czechoslovakian history when political pressure was combined with a certain artistic freedom. Petr Bubeníček offers sensitive and multifaceted interpretations of films and their sources thoroughly embedded in cultural and political history. He unravels subtle layers of meaning, hovering between the aesthetic and the subversive, and finally leaves the reader with a sensation of better understanding the complex interrelations between art and society.” (Lars Elleström, Linnaeus University, Sweden)