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Milos Forman retrospective at the NW Film Center

The Northwest Film Center presents:
MILOS FORMAN: August 1-14

"I discovered very soon that you can speak different languages and have different customs, but human nature is the same everywhere."-Milos Forman

Milos Forman has been making films of remarkable wit and insight for more than 40 years, first in Czechoslovakia and then, after the 1968 Soviet invasion, in the United States. No matter how disparate they seem on the surface, his works are united by a deep empathy for his characters, especially those who march to the beat of their own drummers. The sharp antiauthoritarian spirit and heartfelt humanism of his films have impressed audiences internationally with their ability to capture the zeitgeist of the moment, whatever the era, whatever the culture. The Northwest Film Center pleased to screen nine of his finest works, including the classic ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, filmed in Salem 33 years ago. Special thanks to Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film, Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Czech Center, New York; The National Film Archive, Prague; and Irena Kovarova, Independent Curator.



COMPLETE LIST OF FILMS
AUG 1 FRI 7 & 9 PM
TAKING OFF
US 1971
DIRECTOR: MILOS FORMAN
In this rarely seen, darkly affectionate satire, a husband and wife embark on a wild-goose chase to find 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. With Buck Henry and Ike and Tina Turner, who contribute electrifying performances. (93 mins.)

AUG 2, 3 SAT 7 PM, SUN 7 PM
THE FIREMAN'S BALL
CZECHOSLOVAKIA/ITALY 1967
DIRECTOR: MILOS FORMAN
The last film Forman made in his homeland is perhaps the finest example of the trademark combination of warm humanism and stinging social commentary of the Czech New Wave. 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. (71 mins.)

AUG 2, 3 SAT 8:45 PM, SUN 8:45 PM
LOVES OF A BLOND
CZECHOSLOVAKIA 1965
DIRECTOR: MILOS FORMAN
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. (88 mins.)

AUG 6, 10 WED 7 PM, SUN 8:45
AUDITION
CZECHOSLOVAKIA 1963
DIRECTOR: MILOS FORMAN
This mix of documentary and fiction offers a humorous look at different kinds of competitions and the motivations of their talented-and not-so-talented-participants. Set to a wonderful soundtrack that includes Czech pop, folk, and orchestra music, Forman's first major work is both light and passionate in tone. (77 mins.)

AUG 6, 10 WED 8:45, SUN 7 PM
BLACK PETER
CZECHOSLOVAKIA 1964
DIRECTOR: MILOS FORMAN
An empathetic look at the alienation of Czech youth, Forman's first fiction feature depicts the miserable title character at his grocery store job as a fink/"detective." In his off-hours, he clashes with his old-fashioned father, pines for a classmate, and in general manifests the ironic resignation so typical of Forman's characters. Using nonprofessional actors, improvisation, and vérité camerawork, 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 mins.)

AUG 8 FRI 7 PM
AMADEUS
US 1984
DIRECTOR: MILOS FORMAN
Plagued by jealousy of-and admiration for-his rival, Mozart (Tom Hulce), the mediocre court composer Salieri (F. Murry Abraham) 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. To film AMADEUS, Forman returned to Prague for the first time since he left his homeland. (180 mins.)

AUG 9 SAT 7 PM
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST
US 1975
DIRECTOR: MILOS FORMAN
Based on Ken Kesey's novel and featuring indelible performances by Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher, CUCKOO'S NEST remains one of Forman's most acclaimed films. Nicholson, a convict in a psychiatric hospital, 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 the film became the second ever to win all five major Academy Awards. (133 mins.)

AUG 13 WED 7 PM
RAGTIME
US 1981
DIRECTOR: MILOS FORMAN
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. Based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow, the story dramatizes the interconnection of lives (both actual and imaginary) across the social spectrum, capturing the sense of possibility and political awakening that characterized the turn of the twentieth century. The large cast features Brad Dourif and James Cagney, who came out of retirement to star in this sprawling epic. (155 mins.)

AUG 14 THUR 7 PM
GOYA'S GHOSTS
SPAIN/US 2006
DIRECTOR: MILOS FORMAN
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 (Javier Bardem) is a fervent believer in Inquisitional extremes who is ascending (and descending) the rungs of society. Goya (Stellan Skarsgård) is the bystander through whose eyes we see Spain's tumultuous upheaval. (117 mins.)
Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium at the Portland Art Museum: 1219 SW Park Ave.
Admission Prices: $7.00 General, $6.00 Members, Students, Seniors

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