Miloš Forman was born in 1932 in Čáslav in Czechoslovakia and he is one of the few foreign directors who have success in the American film industry. Forman was an influential filmmaker in his homeland who went on to achieve comparable influence in Hollywood. Forman's Czechoslovakian films, including “Loves of a Blonde” and “The Fireman's Ball”, marked a distinct thematic and stylistic break with the previous generation of filmmaking in that country and played a major role in shaping the Czech New Wave of the 1960´s. These films were characterized by an ironic humour and detailed investigation of character for which Forman has become well known. A permanent theme in Forman's work is a generational conflict. Some critics have suggested that Forman's interest with parent-child relationships may came from the death of his own parents in Nazi concentration camps. In Forman's first two movies “Black Peter” and “Loves of a Blonde”, he used the theme of the parent-child relationships to criticise the socio-political climate in Czechoslovakia of the mid-60´s. To achieve the authenticity Forman has usually used non-professional actors who were often instructed to improvise their dialogue to achieve a sense of spontaneity. Forman's first two American films had strong thematic and stylistic similarity to his Czechoslovakian work. “Taking Off” – this movie shows the generation gap when the parents set off to search their runaway daughter. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest” explored the struggle of the individual against the establishment. The movie won the top five Academy Awards, earning Best Picture, Director, Actor (Jack Nicholson), Actress (Louise Fletcher) and Screenplay (Bo Goldman and Lawrence Hauben) and it stabilized his size in the US. For his further work, he chose the musical genre and shot “Hair”. This movie showed the typical anti-establishment protest of the hippie generation. Forman had many helpers e.g. Miroslav Ondříček, who has been his exclusive cameraman. “Hair” remains one of the best screen adaptations of a stage musical. Forman followed with the drama “Ragtime”. He took over the E. L. Doctorow's novel, but the resulting film was a financial failure, because Forman's original cut ran close to three hours. It was reduced and the narrative structure suffered.
For his next project, he undertook adapting Peter Shaffer's play “Amadeus”.
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Miloš Forman biography
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