Cesar Ballester’s professional output

The absence of the establishing shot in Slovak films of the 1960s

Article – Published 1st Nov 08

This article asks why several Czech and Slovak directors of the 1960s employed what might be referred to as a non-establishing-shot technique. To state that the employment of this technique was a reaction to Socialist Realism and to a Socialist society leaves unanswered the question of ‘how’ this reaction against the collectivization of the characters and the stories carried out under the aesthetics of Socialist Realism was expressed. More significantly, it was a reaction against the forced collectivization of society under the Communist regime. The absence of the establishing shot was a means of returning individuality, uniqueness and differences to characters. It was a way of stating that a society is formed by the sum of its parts, that is, its individual members. This article deals mainly with the Slovak side of the New Wave, hitherto neglected by western scholars. It asks why and how five directors (Stefan Uher, Peter Solan, Juraj Jakubisko, Dušan Hanák and Alain Robbe-Grillet) made use of the non-establishing-shot technique; how they developed the technique; and in what ways they used it in a different manner to their Czech counterparts.

Publication details

Publication status Published
Refereed 1
Publication title Central Europe
Publishers name Maney
Volume 6
Identification number 2
Page range 172–193
ISSN 1479-0963