Czech Surrealism and Czech New Wave Realism

  • Alison Frank


CZECH SURREALISM AND CZECH NEW WAVE REALISM: THE IMPORTANCE OF OBJECTS AbstractThis article examines a major difference between French and Czech Surrealism as exemplified by their attitudes to film. It engages in a close analysis of three films by documentary-influenced Czech New Wave directors whom the Prague Surrealist group admired: Miloš Forman, Ivan Passer and Jan Němec. The analysis focuses on the way in which objects in these films can take on multiple meanings depending on their context. It concludes that such objects suggest a broadening of possibilities in everyday life and in this respect correspond to both Surrealist goals and to the experience of living in a society in the process of political liberalization. The Paris Surrealist group's favourite Czech New Wave film was Věra Chytilová's highly experimental Sedmikrásky (Daisies, 1966); the Prague group, by contrast, preferred the documentary-style approach of Miloš Forman and Ivan Passer...