Jean-Luc Garbo wrote:
Also, there are four Peter Hames
books available during the Columbia sale: The Czechoslovak New Wave
, Czech and Slovak Cinema: Theme and Tradition
, The Cinema of Central Europe
and The Cinema of Jan Svankmajer: Dark Alchemy
. The first two he wrote (I'm not sure how much overlap is in either text, but both look quite good) and the second two he edited as collections of others' essays.
I have all four, and they're all warmly recommended.
As for the "overlap" question, there's unavoidably some, but both books have their own distinct identity. Basically, The Czechoslovak New Wave
is an unmatchably exhaustive account of Czechoslovak cinema of the 1960s, accompanied by a sketchier history of Czech cinema as a whole, whereas Czech and Slovak Cinema
attempts a wider-ranging historical overview of an entire century's worth of the region's cinema. Which means that although it's much less detailed when it comes to the 1960s (at least by comparison), it includes lots of material on subjects either barely touched on or ignored altogether by the older book - animation, for instance, or popular genre filmmaking, or specifically Slovak cinema.
As for the anthologies, the Švankmajer book is easily the best single-volume survey of his film work (there's no obvious rival that I can see), whereas The Cinema of Central Europe
is a collection of academic essays about individual key titles in Czech, Slovak, Polish and Hungarian film history.
If I had to buy just one, it would be The Czechoslovak New Wave