Carrie Patterson, Chair
Associate Professor of Art
Office Staff: 240-895-4225
Alumni Where are they now?
Matthew Fishel (studio art, 2001) completed an MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. Originally interested in painting, Matthew has expanded his practice to include animation, video, installation, and digital imaging. He is a frequent contributor to RedStarKGB, an ongoing collaboration of filmmakers in Baltimore. His own film, "A Short Film Regarding Possibilities", was selected by the Maryland Film Festival in 2006. See his work at http://www.matthewfishel.com
Unearthing Gender in Czechoslovak New Wave Cinema
Abstract: A remarkable moment in Czechoslovak history during the 1960s finally opened doors for students and educators in various realms of intellectual and creative activity. As the Communist-controlled country attempted to lift itself out of national debt, the Czechoslovak government slowly adopted more liberal policies. Taking advantage of the increasingly liberated atmosphere, many Czechoslovak film directors freely deserted the Stalin’s forerunning socialist realist tenets that previously dominated cinema. Liberalization of the Czechoslovak film industry eventually led to what is now known as the Czechoslovak New Wave: a film movement in 1960s Czechoslovakia characterized by its contemplative, humorous, and truthful experimentation and exploration of the film medium. This paper explores the cinematic patterns and anomalies that distinguish Czechoslovak New Wave cinema as a means to interpret the gender issues surfacing in the content of each film. Problems with masculinity, femininity, or the disparate experiences of women and men habitually emerge, challenging the viewer to consider the issues of gender within a social and political context of mid-twentieth century Czechoslovakia. Little scholarly literature investigates gender issues within Czechoslovak New Wave cinema therefore this paper is an effort to bridge the gap between these films and gender studies. The four films discussed in this paper, Adelheid, Closely Watched Trains, Loves of a Blonde, and Daisies exemplify a range of visual possibilities in the film medium, while offering new images of the individual in conflict with rigid social constructions such as masculinity and femininity. The personal testimony existing in these films was revolutionary in Communist Czechoslovakia in the 1960s, yet their sober and authentic messages about human life endure in a contemporary context.