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Feb 14, 2008 12:00 AM - Feb 28, 2008 12:00 AM

Milos Forman, A Retrospective

Milos Forman, A Retrospective; February 14–28, 2008, MoMA, New York



Milos Forman, A Retrospective
February 14–28, 2008

The international commercial and critical success of Milos Forman's films is a testament to the uniqueness of his blend of passionate, personal interpretation, a remarkable ability to capture the zeitgeist, and a healthy dose of black humor. This complete retrospective celebrates the "Formanesque" vision he has sustained over forty-five years.

Based on intelligent scripts, Forman's work is characterized by a sharp antiauthoritarian spirit and a lucid, heartfelt humanism. His films maintain an intoxicating relevance to contemporary living by identifying iconic trends and events—evident both in his early features (Loves of a Blonde, The Firemen's Ball), which helped jump-start the fabled Czech New Wave in the mid-1960s, and in his renegade Hollywood films from the 1970s to today (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The People vs. Larry Flynt). A master of his métier from his career's inception (Audition, 1963), Forman developed an unmistakeable style in collaboration with his longtime cinematographer, Miroslav Ondrícek, that is marked by fastidious attention to set design details (exemplified by his much admired period films of the 1980s), augmented by a rare insight into the nuances of performance. All films directed by Milos Forman, except where noted.

Organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film, with the kind collaboration of The Czech Center, New York; The National Film Archive, Prague; and Irena Kovarova, independent curator and tour manager. With grateful acknowledgement of Janus Films, MGM, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn Films, and Sony Pictures Entertainment for their loan of prints to this series.

Tickets and more info: www.moma.org
Tickets: $10
Members of the Czech Center Club: $8
(with a CC Club Card)


Lásky jedné plavovlásky (Loves of a Blonde). 1965. Czechoslovakia. Directed by Milos Forman. Screenplay by Forman, Jaroslav Papousek, Ivan Passer, Václav Sasek. With Hana Brejchová, Vladimír Pucholt. Forman's breakthrough film, a commentary on the perils of totalitarianism, follows the everyday life and sexual fumbles of a naive teenage girl in a dreary town. A cornerstone of the Czech New Wave, the film grapples with the realities of injustice and disillusionment, yet its international popularity was due in part to the optimism and tenderness of its outlook. In Czech; English subtitles. 88 min.
Thursday, February 14, 2008, 7:00 p.m., (Introduced by Milos Forman, Vladimir Pucholt and Ivan Passer)
Monday, February 25, 2008, 6:00 p.m.



Taking Off. 1971. USA. Directed by Milos Forman. Screenplay by Forman, Jean-Claude Carrière, John Guare, Jon Klein. With Lynn Carlin, Buck Henry. In this dark, affectionate, and rarely seen satire, a husband and wife embark on a wild-goose chase after their runaway daughter and wind up experimenting with the wild habits of youth counterculture. In his first film after migrating to the U.S. in the wake of the Soviet crackdown, Forman offers a fresh, idiosyncratic perspective on his adopted country. Ike and Tina Turner contribute an electrifying performance. 93 min.
Friday, February 15, 2008, 6:00 p.m., (Intrduced by Milos Forman, John Gaure and Michael Hausman)
Wednesday, February 20, 2008, 6:00 p.m.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. 1975. USA. Directed by Milos Forman. Screenplay by Bo Goldman, Lawrence Hauben, based on the novel by Ken Kesey. With Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher. One of Forman's most acclaimed films, this adaptation of Kesey's widely read antiestablishment novel stars Nicholson as a convict in a psychiatric hospital who leads his fellow inmates in defying the icy Nurse Ratched, one of the greatest villains in film history. This rallying cry against authority and conformity struck a nerve with viewers and became the second movie ever to win all five major Academy Awards. 133 min.
Friday, February 15, 2008, 8:00 p.m., (Introduced by Milos Forman and Michael Douglas)
Saturday, February 23, 2008, 4:00 p.m.


Horí, má panenko (The Firemen's Ball). 1967. Czechoslovakia/Italy. Directed by Milos Forman. Screenplay by Forman, Jaroslav Papousek, Ivan Passer. With Jan Vostrcil, Josef Sebánek. The last film Forman made in his homeland is perhaps the finest example of the Czech New Wave's trademark combination of warm humanism and stinging social commentary. A party organized by a small-town fire department builds into comic mayhem and thinly veiled political allegory in this satire, which was banned by the Czech government. This deceptively simple masterpiece is a sharp, lucid representation of human weakness and moral decay. In Czech; English subtitles. 71 min.
Saturday, February 16, 2008, 2:00 p.m.
Monday, February 25, 2008, 8:00 p.m.


Valmont. 1989. USA. Directed by Milos Forman. Screenplay by Forman, Jean-Claude Carrière, based on the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. With Colin Firth, Annette Bening. The last of three period pieces Forman made in the 1980s, this tale of sexual manipulation among French aristocrats shows the director at the height of his visual craftsmanship, and features Bening and Firth in their first high-profile roles. Forman's loose interpretation is one of the most opulently designed and emotionally resonant of the book's many screen versions. 137 min.
Saturday, February 16, 2008, 3:30 p.m.
Friday, February 22, 2008, 8:30 p.m.


Dobre placená procházka (A Well-Paid Walk/A Walk Worthwhile). 1966. Czechoslovakia. Directed by Milos Forman. Forman directed this musical comedy, a black-and-white visual feast, for Czechoslovakian TV in cooperation with its authors, writer Jirí Suchy and composer Jirí Slitr. Set in a small, confining apartment, a bickering young couple's inevitable breakup is forestalled by the sudden arrival of a rich aunt from England, who promises to leave them her fortune if they have a child together. In Czech; English subtitles. 72 min.
Saturday, February 16, 2008, 6:00 p.m. (U.S. premiere)
Sunday, February 24, 2008, 6:30 p.m., (U.S. premiere)


Goya's Ghosts. 2007. Spain/USA. Directed by Milos Forman. Screenplay by Forman, Jean-Claude Carrière. With Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgård. Forman's most recent historical drama intertwines the Spanish Inquisition, the rise of Napoleon, and the life of Goya, featuring a heady mix of real and invented characters and exquisitely detailed, Goya-inspired set pieces. Brother Lorenzo (Bardem) is a fervent believer in Inquisitional extremes who is ascending (and descending) the rungs of society. Goya (Skarsgård) is the bystander through whose eyes we see Spain's tumultuous upheaval. In Spanish; English subtitles. 117 min.
Sunday, February 17, 2008, 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 28, 2008, 5:30 p.m.


The Decathlon. 1973. Germany. Directed by Milos Forman. From the omnibus film Visions of 8, commissioned for the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich. 10 min.
Konkurs (Audition). 1963. Czechoslovakia. Directed by Milos Forman. Screenplay by Forman, Ivan Passer. With Václav Blumenfeld, Hana Hegerová. This mix of documentary and fiction offers a humorous look at different kinds of competitions and the motivations of their talented (and less-than-talented) participants. Set to a wonderful soundtrack that includes Czech pop, folk, and orchestral music, Forman's first major work is both light and passionate in tone. In Czech; English subtitles. 77 min.
Monday, February 18, 2008, 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008, 8:30 p.m.


Hair. 1979. USA. Directed by Milos Forman. Screenplay by Michael Weller, based on the musical play by Gerome Ragni, James Rado. With John Savage, Treat Williams. A triumph of the musical genre, and an uplifting recollection of America during the Vietnam War, Forman's take on the Broadway sensation celebrates reckless behavior through Twyla Tharp's energetic choreography and a string of unforgettable anthems. Released at the end of the 1970s, the film is marked by a strong nostalgia for the politically charged mood, raw passions, and youthful anxieties of the previous decade. 121 min.
Monday, February 18, 2008, 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 24, 2008, 1:30 p.m.



Amadeus. 1984. USA. Directed by Milos Forman. Screenplay by Peter Shaffer, based on his play. With F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce. Plagued by jealousy of—and admiration for—his rival, Mozart, the mediocre court composer Salieri narrates his encounters with the childish but sublimely gifted prodigy. This visually lavish period piece—which mixes fact and fiction, high art and vulgarity, meticulous detail and jarring anachronism—tears through the stuffy conventions of the genre with a swell of operatic emotions. Filmed in Prague, the production was Forman's first return to his homeland. 180 min.
Monday, February 18, 2008, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 28, 2008, 8:00 p.m.


Cerny Petr (Black Peter). 1964. Czechoslovakia. Directed by Milos Forman. Screenplay by Forman, Jaroslav Papousek. With Ladislav Jakim, Pavla Martínková. An empathetic look at the alienation of Czech youth, Forman's first fiction feature depicts the miserable title character at his grocery store job; in his off-hours, he clashes with his old-fashioned father and pines for a classmate. Employing nonprofessional actors, improvisation, and vérité camerawork, as well as a gently ironic, antiauthoritarian tone, the film exhibits the qualities that would place Forman at the forefront of the Czech New Wave and anticipates his future success on the 1970s Hollywood auteur scene. 85 min.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 23, 2008, 2:00 p.m.



Ragtime. 1981. USA. Directed by Milos Forman. Screenplay by Michael Weller, based on the novel by E. L. Doctorow. With James Cagney, Brad Dourif. Driven by his experience of injustice and personal loss, Coalhouse Walker, a black piano player, sets off a nationwide campaign of terror in 1906 New York. The film dramatizes the interconnection of lives (both actual and imaginary) across the social spectrum, capturing the sense of possibility and political awakening at the turn of the twentieth century. The large cast features remarkable young talent alongside the great Cagney, who returned from retirement to star in this sprawling epic. 155 min.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 21, 2008, 8:00 p.m.



The People vs. Larry Flynt. 1996. USA. Directed by Milos Forman. Screenplay by Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski. With Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love. Forman and producer Oliver Stone collaborated on this portrait of stubborn pornography purveyor and free-speech crusader Larry Flynt. With naked ambition and trademark frankness, Flynt became an unlikely but quintessentially American hero, building his resolutely lowbrow Hustler magazine into an empire and reaffirming the First Amendment in the process. This biopic captures the glorious irreverence and tragic overtones of Flynt's success. 129 min.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 24, 2008, 4:00 p.m.


Nedostaje mi Sonja Henie (I Miss Sonia Henie). 1971. Yugoslavia. Directed by Milos Forman. Part of an omnibus film masterminded by Slovene director Karpo Godina, who challenged directors Forman, Buck Henry, Dusan Makavejev, Paul Morrissey, and others at the Belgrade Film Festival to make a short film in which someone must speak the titular sentence, originated by Snoopy. Includes an excerpt from I Miss Sonia Henie: The Making of a Film. 30 min.
Chytilová vs. Forman. 1981. Czechoslovakia. Directed by Vera Chytilová. Chytilová, an important Czech New Wave film director and a doggedly feisty and spirited documentarian, was asked to make an entry for the Belgian TV series Versus about her colleague, Forman, during the shooting of Ragtime. The film documents a unique confrontation between two significant filmmakers who no longer shared the same country and cultural background. 84 min.
Thursday, February 21, 2008, 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 23, 2008, 7:00 p.m.



Man on the Moon. 1999. USA. Directed by Milos Forman. Screenplay by Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski. With Jim Carrey, Courtney Love. A portrait of the iconoclastic comedian Andy Kaufman, Forman's film matches its idiosyncratic subject with stylistic quirkiness and a career-defining performance by Carrey. Recreating a series of Kaufman's most inspired stunts/routines, this highly original biopic portrays an otherworldly mind who thrilled audiences with his childlike sense of wonder but remained enigmatic and impenetrable both onstage and off. 118 min.
Friday, February 22, 2008, 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008, 6:00 p.m.






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From: Feb 14, 2008 12:00 AM
To: Feb 28, 2008 12:00 AM


MoMA, České centrum

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