The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
MILOŠ FORMAN: THE FORMATIVE YEARS
June 27 - July 3
"These [early] films were provoked by the idiocy — by the absolute imbecility — of the film produced by the Communist studios in Prague and in Moscow, everywhere in Communist countries, where everything was so artificial, so far-fetched, so unreal and untrue that we only wanted to see some reality, some real people on the screen." -Miloš Forman
"Forman's specialty...is less historical ax-grinding than daffy, dissolute sketches of relationships that swing freely between tenderness and cruelty" -Time Out Chicago
"One of the great starts to a directorial career" -NewCity Chicago
The Facets Cinémathèque is proud to present the early films of Miloš Forman, one of contemporary cinema's most acclaimed directors. He studied screenwriting at the Prague Film Academy of Dramatic Arts (FAMU) in his native Czechoslovakia and his subversive films, which received international status, drew the attention of the Soviet authorities. He left his homeland and became a U.S. citizen in the 1970's. His work is permeated with an anit-authoritarian spirit as well as by lucid representations of humanity. (MOMA)
This touring retrospective was organized originally by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art, NY, with the kind collaboration of the Czech Center New York; the National Film Archive, Prague; and Irena Kovarova, Independent Film Programmer and Tour Manager
"Extremely assured for an apprentice work, this displays the same mix of shrewdness and tenderness that marked all Forman's early films" -TimeOut Chicago
Miloš Forman's first "feature" is actually two medium-length films put together. If There Were No Music and Competition are both well-observed, humorous, humanist blends of documentary and fiction. Both deal with music. One chronicles a competition between two provincial brass bands; the other captures young women auditioning to be singers.
Directed by Miloš Forman, Czechoslovakia, 1963, 35mm, 77 mins. In Czech with English subtitles. Print from the Czech National Film Archive, Prague.
"[Forman's style] reveals itself as a personal understanding of a particularly subtle, genial, unassertive kind" -New York Times
"[Ladislav] Jaki's near-miserablist performance...eerily anticipates Benjy in The Graduate, the next big thing in 1960s antiheroes" -TimeOut Chicago
"Forman's discreet portrait of ebbing innocence is both wistful and ironic, sympathetic and very funny" -Chicago Reader
Miloš Forman's first fully fictional feature is a funny, astutely observed, affectionate comedy about a disenchanted 1960s Czech teenager. Peter works as a trainee supermarket detective, clashes with his conservative father, and pines for the local tomboy. Forman employed non-professional actors, improvisation, and real locations to breathe new life into Czech cinema, and this charming, anti-authoritarian movie won the Czechoslovak Film Critics’ prize.
Directed by Miloš Forman, Czechoslavakia, 1964, 35mm, print, 85 mins. In Czech with English subtitles. Print from the Czech National Film Archive, Prague.
Best Foreign Film Academy Awards & Golden Globes
"Forman's second film is a small gem...he achieves something indescribably exact, touching and funny" -TimeOut London
"A beautifully droll denouement that is laced with tender traces of youthful poignancy" -New York Times
"Quintessential...Forman's world is cozy yet bleak, his attitude simultaneously tender and cruel" -Village Voice
"Hana Brejchova gives a fine, low-key performance as an ingenious, romantically capricious teenager" -Chicago Tribune
"Shot in a lustrous, gloomy monochrome, the precise comic timing cuts few emotional corners. It's among the wisest, most gorgeous movies of the 1960s and stands as Forman’s first out-and-out masterpiece." -TimeOut Chicago
Miloš Forman's Oscar-nominated second feature is a pointed, poignant comedy in which a naïve and inexperienced small-town factory girl misconstrues a one-night stand with an itinerant pianist as true love. Confusion reigns when she shows up on his parents’ doorstep in Prague. "A small gem…Exact, touching, and funny." –Time Out Film Guide. New 35mm print!
Directed by Miloš Forman, Czechoslovakia, 1965, 35mm, 88 mins. In Czech with English subtitles.
Fri., June 27 at 7 pm
Sat., June 28 at 5, 7 & 9 pm
Mon., June 30 & Tues., July 1 at 7 & 9 pm
NEW 35MM COLOR PRINT!
FIREMEN'S BALL (HORÍ, MÁ PANENKO)
Best Foreign Film Academy Awards
"Quietly, irresistibly funny" -TimeOut London
"Full of humor, dense in every detail" -New York Times
"This is a very warm, funny movie, and perhaps the best way you could spend an evening in a theater just now" -Roger Ebert
"Panoramic" -Chicago Tribune
"This burnished, candy-colored look at bureaucracy stumbling over its own stupidity has scarcely aged...Few movies capture municipal dysfunction and national id-letting as potently" -TimeOut Chicago
"With Loves of a Blonde, it's the best work Forman has done, rooted in a social reality that has eluded him in his American projects and directed with a nonlinear suppleness that suggests the formal achievement of Jacques Tati" -Chicago Reader
Miloš Forman's final Czech film is his funniest and most savage. A satire on petty bureaucracy, the movie chronicles a provincial firemen's ball which includes a beauty pageant and raffle that goes horribly awry. When it was first released, 40,000 Czech firemen resigned in protest over its unflattering depiction of their profession.
Directed by Miloš Forman, Czechoslovakia, 1967, 35mm, 73 mins. In Czech with English subtitles. Preceded by Forman's Decathlon USA/W. Germany, 1973, a 10-min. segment from Visions of Eight, an omnibus film about the 1972 Munich Olympics.