Film-maker became key figure of the Czech new wave before emigrating to the US and establishing a successful career in Hollywood
Milos Forman, the Czech-born director of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, has died at persons under the age of 86. Czech news agency CTK reportedthat Forman died on Friday in the United States after a short illness. His spouse, Martina, told CTK:” His departure was calm and he was surrounded the whole time by his family and his closest friends .”
Forman was born in the Czech town of Caslav in 1932; after the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, both his mother and father been killed in concentration camps.( Forman afterward discovered his biological father was actually a Jewish architect who had survived the war and escaped to South America .) After being raised by relatives, Forman joined the Prague Film Academy, and began writing scripts in the late 1950 s, gradually moving up the ranks in the postwar Czechoslovak industry. His debut as director, Black Peter, about a teen in his first task, incurred the disfavor of the Communist authorities for its irreverent stance, but after its prizewinning appearance at the Locarno film festival enabled Forman to continue directing.
His next film, A Blonde in Love- inspired by a real-life incident in which Forman went across a young woman who had been deceived and abandoned by a devotee- established the free-wheeling, semi-documentary style that became his trademark in this period and constructed Forman a key figure in the burgeoning Czech new wave. It was nominated for the best foreign language movie Oscar, as was the follow up, The Fireman’s Ball- a brilliantly scabrous account of a chaotic official social event that again incurred the fury of the Communist authorities.
The Fireman’s Ball was released in 1967 and Forman was then invited to the US by Paramount Pictures to make a film in America. After attempting to get the rights to the musical Hair, Forman began work on an original screenplay, for the film Taking Off. In August 1968 Czechslovakia was invaded by Warsaw Pact forces aiming to suppress Alexander Dubcek’s liberalising reforms; Forman opted to stay in the US, where he was joined by fellow director Ivan Passer.
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