Avant-garde to New Wave: Czechoslovak Cinema, Surrealism and the Sixties | BERGHAHN BOOKS
Join our Email List Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
Avant-garde to New Wave: Czechoslovak Cinema, Surrealism and the Sixties

View Table of Contents

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

Avant-garde to New Wave

Czechoslovak Cinema, Surrealism and the Sixties

Jonathan L. Owen

256 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-126-2 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (February 2011)

ISBN  978-0-85745-901-5 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (February 2013)

eISBN 978-0-85745-127-9 eBook


View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


"Jonathan L. Owen’s book will be very valuable for scholars and students of Czech and Slovak cinema and of the Czechoslovak avant-garde generally, as well as for those interested in applying poststructuralist and psychoanalytic theory to film...Each individual film analysis is rich, detailed, well-researched, and original, as Owen smoothly adapts the insights of previous scholars in formulating his own…an undeniably masterful and highly significant study."  ·  Slavic Review

“…a fine study of the Czechoslovak New Wave. It is impressively researched, well read in Czech and Slovak sources, and the contextualization of the New Wave is superb. It is original, and it offers a welcome new approach to the subject.”  ·  Slavonic & East European Review

Owen provides a useful overview of Czechoslovak avant-garde art from the 1920s to the 1980s and in-depth analysis of a number of movies, some of them not well known in the West. The book will be rewarding reading for those interested in Slavic culture, European avant-gardism, and film studies.  ·  Choice

"[T]he book's considerable lasting value lies in the quality and depth of the contextual material, accompanied by a lengthy bibliography. Owen's potted history of Czech Surrealism ... is a particularly valuable primer, as is his exploration of the peculiar historical, cultural and political conditions that allowed a surprisingly coherent film movement to spring into existence."  ·  Sight & Sound

"This book can fill a significant lacuna in the scarce international research on and publications about the [Czechoslovak] New Wave … it presents a vital contribution to the study of the period."  ·  Petra Hanáková, Charles University

"I think this is an excellent text. It deals with a very under-researched subject in an original yet comprehensive manner. It is well-written and well-structured."  ·  Elisabetta Girelli, University of St Andrews


The cultural liberalization of communist Czechoslovakia in the 1960s produced many artistic accomplishments, not least the celebrated films of the Czech New Wave. This movement saw filmmakers use their new freedom to engage with traditions of the avant-garde, especially Surrealism. This book explores the avant-garde's influence over the New Wave and considers the political implications of that influence. The close analysis of selected films, ranging from the Oscar-winning Closely Observed Trains to the aesthetically challenging Daisies, is contextualized by an account of the Czech avant-garde and a discussion of the films' immediate cultural and political background.

Jonathan L. Owen is a Teaching Fellow at the University of St. Andrews. He completed his Ph.D. on Czech cinema at the University of Manchester. His research interests include the European cinema of the 1960s and 1970s and the Czech twentieth-century avant-garde.

Jonathan Owen explains how to find Czech film here...

Subject: Film and Television Studies
Area: Europe


Back to Top

Library Recommendation Form

Dear Librarian,

I would like to recommend Avant-garde to New Wave Czechoslovak Cinema, Surrealism and the Sixties for the library. Please include it in your next purchasing review with my strong recommendation. The RRP is: $135.00

I recommend this title for the following reasons:

BENEFIT FOR THE LIBRARY: This book will be a valuable addition to the library's collection.

REFERENCE: I will refer to this book for my research/teaching work.

STUDENT REFERRAL: I will regularly refer my students to the book to assist their studies.

OWN AFFILIATION: I am an editor/contributor to this book or another book in the Series (where applicable) and/or on the Editorial Board of the Series, of which this volume is part.