Robert Buchar

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Robert Buchar is an American cinematographer, filmmaker, film director and producer, born in 1951[1] in Hradec Králové, former Czechoslovakia.

In 1966, he came to Prague to study photography at the Secondary School of Graphic Arts, and cinematography at FAMU, the Film Academy of Fine Arts, where he graduated as M.F.A. in 1975. He worked as a cinematographer mainly for the documentary section of Krátký film, before defecting to the United States in 1980. There he worked as a cameraman for CBS until 1989, photographed over twenty films and documentaries in the U.S. and Europe. He also works as director of photography on independent films and commercials.

Since 1989, he teaches cinematography at the Columbia College in Chicago, where he became head of the Cinematography Concentration, the faculty's cinematography program, an advanced production course he developed.[2][3]

Documentary features[edit]

Velvet Hangover[edit]

His, and David Smith's[1], feature-length documentary film Velvet Hangover about the Czech New Wave and the Czech film industry before and after the Velvet Revolution was screened in film festivals around the world. Some of the critics' appraisals:

Featuring in Velvet Hangover (in alphabetic order):

The Collapse of Communism – The Untold Story[edit]

Currently (November 2009) Buchar's another documentary The Collapse of Communism – The Untold Story[7] is in postproduction. According to some critics, it showcases the KGB's orchestration and management of the breakup of the Soviet Union. According to some critics, it promotes a conspiracy theory that the fall of communism in Eastern Europe was a hoax.[8] Buchar's own view (supporting his critics):

Featuring in The Collapse of Communism (in alphabetic order):


documentaries, feature-length, also as director / producer

  • Velvet Hangover, together with David Smith, 1999/2000, USA
    (in Czech: Sametová kocovina, 2002)
  • The Collapse of Communism – The Untold Story, 2009/2010, USA

other, (mainly / also) as director of photography[9]

  • Four Seasons (in Czech: Čtvero ročních dob), 2008
  • Bear Not to Be, 1968
  • Certainly, 1969
  • The Club, 1971
  • In the Sign of Eagle, 1978
  • The Comets, 1979
  • City in the Center of the City, 1979
  • Ethology of Animals, 1980
  • Basic Meditation Exercise, directed by George Drasnar (Jiří Drašnar)[9] [10](in Czech), 1981
  • Go West-Sing West, 1991
  • Where are you, 1992
  • The Land of Youth, 1992
  • Granny, 1998
  • Poslední z rodu, directed by Drahomíra Vihanová, Czechoslovakia, 1977


  • Czech New Wave Filmmakers in Interviews, foreword by Antonin J. Liehm, McFarland & Company, 2003 (based upon the Velvet Hangover documentary)
  • And Reality be Damned ... December 2009, Eloquent Strategic Publishing [11] (based upon The Collapse of Communism – The Untold Story documentary)
    in Czech: Revoluce 1989 – utajené informace ze zákulisí, Brána, 2009
  • Design of the photographic and the cinematographic image, with Jan Smok, Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Prague 2001
  • The Spotmeter and its application in cinematography and video (on proper metering techniques)[10]


  1. ^ Recenze : Sametová kocovina (Velvet Hangover) (in Czech), Pilsen Film festival 2001, with photos of Buchar and film poster with David Černý's famous Horse
  2. ^ "Eight Films Emerge" (PDF). Kodak. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
  3. ^ entry at Columbia College : Film and Video : Faculty website
  4. ^ "Wild Decades and Velvet Hangovers". by Peter Hames, Transitions Online. 2001-05-21. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
  5. ^ Velvet Hangover review by Eddie Cockrell, Variety, February 28, 2002
  6. ^ Velvet Hangover. (Short Takes). by Louis Menashe, Cineaste, March 22, 2002
  7. ^ a b collapseof – author's website of the film The Collapse of Communism – The Untold Story
  8. ^ J.R. Nyquist (2007-09-14). "Filming the Great Deception". Archived from the original on 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
  9. ^ Freedom Film Festival 2002: The Films
  10. ^ books' entry on

External links[edit]