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Milos Forman, Amadeus, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest... director, dies aged 86

Milos Forman.jpg

photo by Petr Novák

Forman passed away on Friday in the United States, where he lived, after a short illness, his wife, Martina, told Czech news agency CTK on Saturday.

“His departure was calm and he was surrounded the whole time by his family and his closest friends,” she said.

Forman was born in the Czech town of Caslav on Feb. 18, 1932. He moved to the United States after the Communist crackdown on the “Prague Spring” uprising in 1968 and became a U.S. citizen in the 1970s.

Jan Hrebejk, a leading Czech film director and a friend and former classmate of Forman’s wife Martina, told Reuters the director was a gifted storyteller and a great person.“In his films you can see the author,” he said. “When you watch them it’s as if that person is speaking to you, as the maker; not many people can do that.”

 

Miloš Forman
Milos Forman.jpg
Forman at the 44th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2009

 
 


Forman was one of the most important directors of the Czechoslovak New Wave. His 1967 film The Fireman's Ball, on the surface a naturalistic representation of an ill-fated social event in a provincial town, was seen by both movie scholars and authorities in Czechoslovakia as a biting satire on Eastern European Communism, resulting in it being banned for many years in Forman's home country.

Since Forman left Czechoslovakia, two of his films, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, have acquired particular renown, each of which gained him an Academy Award for Best DirectorOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was the second film to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor in Leading Role, Actress in Leading Role, Director, and Screenplay) following It Happened One Night in 1934, an accomplishment not repeated until 1991 by The Silence of the Lambs. Forman was also nominated for a Best Director Oscar for The People vs. Larry Flynt. He also won Golden GlobeCannesBerlinaleBAFTACesarDavid di DonatelloEuropean Film Academy, and Czech Lion awards.


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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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