Thursday, 24 April 2014

Miloš Forman festival opens in Prague

10 December 2012

Prague, Dec 7 (CTK) - The Forman Festival presenting a complete retrospective of Czech-born Oscar film director Milos Forman, living in the United States, on the occasion of his 80th birthday was opened in Prague's Municipal Library Friday.

The festival will run through December 13.

Participants in the festival opening shot a video birthday message to Forman from the stage. At the end they were singing jointly with pop star Karel Gott "Happy Birthday to You."

Forman, who turned 80 on February 18, sent short recorded greetings to the audience of the festival opening from his home in Connecticut.

Forman's long-term collaborator, director of photography Miroslav Ondricek, attended Friday's evening screening of Forman's U.S. film Ragtime, in which he also participated. The film was never officially released in Czech cinemas.

The screening was accompanied by an introduction in which young actresses Dasa Zazvurkova and Jana Mala performed.

Both appeared in Forman's latest Czech project - A Walk Worthwhile jazz opera by Jiri Suchy and Jiri Slitr that he directed in Prague's National Theatre and then he shot a film based on the performance.

Apart from Forman's films, the festival programme will offer a documentary on Forman by Miloslav Smidmajer that was premiered three years ago.

Forman studied screenwriting at the Film Faculty of Prague's Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU). In Czechoslovakia, he directed his first full-length feature film Cerny Petr (Black Peter, 1964) and other black comedies, such as Lasky jedne plavovlasky (Loves of a Blonde, 1965) and Hori, ma panenko (The Firemen's Ball, 1967).

He left the communist Czechoslovakia after the 1968 Soviet-led invasion and settled down in the United States where he became a citizen in 1975.

He won the Academy Award for the Best Director for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Amadeus (1984) most scenes of which were shot in his homeland. Forman’s other American films are Taking Off (1971), musical Hair (1979), Ragtime (1981), Valmont (1989), The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), Man on the Moon (1999) and Goya’s Ghosts (2006).

In the Czech Republic, Forman worked as a theatre director of A Walk Worthwhile a couple of years ago in which he cooperated with his elder twin-sons Matej and Petr Forman. He also directed the jazz opera's TV version in 1966.

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