Karel Plicka (1894 – 1987) was a Czechoslovak photographer, film director, cinematographer, folklorist, and pedagogue. He is considered a founder of Slovak film education and filmmaking. He helped establish the genre of ethnographic film in Czechoslovakia.
In 1938 Karel founded photography and cinematography courses at the Škola umeleckých remesiel (School of Applied Arts) in Bratislava. This is noteworthy because it was the first attempt at film education in Czechoslovakia.
In 1946, he co-founded the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU), of which he became the first dean. FAMU continues to thrive today.
Recognized as a great contributor to Czech and Slovak art and culture, Karel received the highest state awards, such as Řád práce (Order of Work) in 1954, National Artist in 1968, Prize for the Best Book of the Year in 1971, the National Prize of the Slovak Socialist Republic in 1975 and the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk in memoriam, in 1991.
You can view the films where he was a writer, cinematographer and director at the IMDb.
For our Czech speaking friends, you can see some of his work at the Cesko-Slovenska Filmova Databaze.
Karels fine monochrome photographs of Prague from the 1940’s documented a dark and mysterious Prague, a gothic Prague, one of intrigue, wonder and even sadness.
We’re fans and are fortunate to have a couple of wonderful photography books of his works.
Here are some images for you to enjoy!