MILOŠ FORMAN - A BELOVED MASTER OF FILMMAKING TURNS 85
This month the Czech Center New York is proud to celebrate Czech director Miloš Forman’s 85th birthday! A jewel of international filmmaking, the multiple Oscar-winning filmmaker is widely accepted as one of the most important directors of his century.
The week started off with a special sold out screening of Mr. Forman’s first Oscar nominated film Loves of a Blonde (Lásky jedné plavovlásky) & a pre-reception (in partnership with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN and the Consul General of the Czech Republic) at the Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center.
Love was in the air on this Valentine’s Day as viewers tasted the delicious Czech beer Pilsner Urquell (Pilsner comes from the Czech town of the same name) and kolachke, a classic Czech pastry topped with jam or sweet cheese.
was opened by Florence Almozini, Senior Programmer at Lincoln Center, and the
Czech Center New York director Barbara Karpetova. The audience took their seats
in a packed room that was buzzing with anticipation for the 1965 love-themed
tragicomic film to begin. From the opening credits sequence, with an adolescent
girl singing along to an acoustic guitar, the giggles began and then turned to
loud laughter throughout many funny yet touching scenes.
It was a beautiful night, and a wonderful way to spend a Valentine’s evening. All that was missing was Mr. Forman himself, who was not able to come from Connecticut for the evening, but attendees were happy to send him a recorded birthday greeting.
This event will
be followed by another sold out celebratory evening in the Czech Center New
York’s Cinema on February 21st, where we will screen a documentary about Mr.
Forman’s life entitled Miloš Forman: What
Doesn’t Kill You at 6:30pm, as well as his classic Oscar-nominated film The Firemen’s Ball (Hoří, má panenko) at 8:30pm.
Join us for this special evening where we hope to honor this inspiring and influential filmmaker’s life & career.
For those unfamiliar with Mr. Forman’s biography, it is filled with dramatic, heartbreaking and inspiring details - starting with his childhood.
As described on his website milosforman.com, Miloš Forman was born in 1932 into a teacher’s family in the small town of Caslav (Central Bohemian region). He was the youngest of three brothers. His father was a member of a resistance group against the Nazi occupation and was arrested by the Gestapo when Miloš was eight years old. Shortly afterwards, Forman’s mother was also arrested. This came about when a local grocery store owner named Havranek was arrested for not informing German officials about anti-Nazi leaflets that appeared in his store. When Havranek was interrogated he mentioned the names of twelve women (including Mrs. Formanova). All of these women were arrested.
He did not see his parents again. Forman describes his childhood and upbringing at length in a fascinating interview with Terry Gross in 2008 on the NPR program Fresh Air.
Forman went on to become the central figure of the Czech New Wave film movement that was born in Czechoslovakia in the 1960's, receiving Academy Award nominations for two films from this era: Loves of a Blonde and The Firemen’s Ball. He won multiple Oscars for two of his legendary American films Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and nominations for The People vs. Larry Flint. The total number of awards he has received for all of his films is too many to count.
FILMOGRAPHY: DIRECTOR MILOŠ FORMAN
2009 A Walk Worthwhile
2007 Semafor: Greatest Hits 2
2006 Goya’s Ghosts
1999 Man on the Moon
1996 The People vs. Larry Flynt – Academy Award nominee
1984 Amadeus – Winner of 8 Academy Awards
1975 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest - Winner of 5 Academy Awards
1973 Visions of Eight (Documentary Segment “The Decathlon“)
1971 I Miss Sonia Henie (Short)
1971 Taking Off
1967 The Firemen’s Ball – Academy Award nominee
1966 Worth While (TV Movie)
1965 Loves of a Blonde – Academy Award nominee
1964 Black Peter
1964 Audition (Documentary)
1964 Why Do We Need All the Brass Bands? (Documentary Short)
1960 Magic Lantern II (Documentary)
CELEBRATION SCREENINGS AT THE CZECH CENTER THIS MONTH
VALENTINE’S DAY EVENT – LINCOLN CENTER
LOVES OF A BLONDE / Lásky jedné plavovlásky February 14th, 7pm
Director: Miloš Forman, 1965, 90 min, Czechoslovakia
This international breakthrough by Miloš Forman—who turns 85 this month—mines teenage romance behind the Iron Curtain for comic, bittersweet irony. In a Czech factory town with a 16:1 female-to-male ratio, young Andula (Hana Brejchová) falls for a lanky pianist (Vladimír Pucholt) she meets at a hilariously awkward mixer peopled by balding reservists. Still as tender, honest, and funny as it was more than 50 years ago, Loves of a Blonde remains a high point of the Czech New Wave, and a refreshing way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
A DOUBLE FEATURE IN HONOR OF MILOŠ FORMAN'S 85TH BIRTHDAY
MILOŠ FORMAN: WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU February 21th, 6:30pm
Director: Miloslav Šmídmajer, 2011, 100 min, Czech Republic
This 2011 documentary captures Forman’s recent life and state of mind, as well as his fascinating past and impressive career. It includes interviews and statements from his family members, friends, actors and colleagues.
THE FIREMEN'S BALL / Hoří, má panenko February 21th, 8:30pm
Director: Miloš Forman, 1967, 71 min, Czechoslovakia
A dazzling comedy and a political satire, this film chronicles a fireman’s ball where nothing goes right – from a beauty pageant whose reluctant participants embarrass the organizers to a lottery from which nearly all the prizes are stolen. Seen as a commentary on the Czech leadership of the time, the film was banned "forever" in Czechoslovakia following the Russain invasion and prompted the director's move to America.