This year’s Karlovy Vary film festival will begin with a tribute to the late director Miloš Forman in the form of a screening of Loves of a Blonde followed by a concert of music from his movies. Organisers have also revealed that the festival’s President’s Award will go to Czech acting great Jaromír Hanzlík. I spoke to Karlovy Vary’s artistic director Karel Och and began by asking about the relationship between the country’s biggest film event and Miloš Forman.
The south Bohemian town of Slavonice, which is known mainly for its uniquely preserved Gothic and Renaissance town houses, has been named Czech Historical Town of the year for 2017. The prize, which comes with a one-million cheque for further preservation works, honours towns and cities in the Czech Republic that have excelled in preserving and renewing their cultural and architectural heritage.
Miloš Forman, the most successful Czech film director of all time, died on Friday at the age of 86. Forman was known and loved around the globe for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, massive movies that won him Best Director Academy Awards in 1976 and 1985. Prior to his Hollywood career Forman had been a prime mover in the groundbreaking 1960s Czechoslovak New Wave. With films like Black Peter, Loves of a Blonde and The Firemen’s Ball, he developed a remarkably fresh, vérité style, frequently casting non-professional actors.
Oscar-winning director Miloš Forman, known for films such as One Flew Over
The Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus has died at the age of 86, the Czech News
Agency reported on Saturday. The Czech-born, US-based director died on
Friday in the United States after a short illness, his wife Martina told
Forman was a leading personality of the Czech New Film Wave of the 1960s. He first attracted international attention in the mid-1960s with his films Black Peter and The Loves of a Blonde , an Oscar nominee for best foreign-language film, and The Firemen’s Ball, which was immediately banned by the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
Two of his US films, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, have gained him an Academy Award for Best Director and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, adapted from Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel, became the first film since 1934 to win all five major Academy Awards. He earned his third and last Oscar nomination in 1996 for The People vs. Larry Flynt, a drama about the founder of Hustler magazine.
The Czech-born filmmaker is also known for two features about controversial Americans, The People vs. Larry Flynt and Man on the Moon.
Jan Gebert’s powerful new documentary When the War Comes delivers sometimes shocking insights into the Slovak Recruits, a group that run paramilitary boot camps and promote an extreme nationalist ideology. One scene even shows their charismatic leader extolling the virtues of Slavic blood in a talk at a primary school, while the film ends with the fresh-faced autocrat announcing plans to enter politics. When we spoke, Gebert told me his attention was immediately caught when he first heard about the growing organisation.
The celebrated French actress Catherine Deneuve, one of the best-known names in international cinema, has received a lifetime achievement award, the Kristian Award for her contribution to world cinematography, at the 25th annual Febio Fest in Prague. The star of films such as Belle de Jour, The Last Metro, and Indochina, arrived in Prague for the close of the festival.
Czech production company JBJ Productions has signed a deal with a Hollywood
film production company which aims to make what will reportedly be the most
expensive Czech film ever.
The deal has been signed with the company of producer Cassian Elwes to co-produce a bio pic of the 15th century Bohemian leader Jan Žižka. The budget of 275 million crowns would reportedly exceed that of the previous record holder Dark Blue World, about Czech airmen in the RAF during WWII.
Jan Žižka was an innovative military strategist who led the Czech Hussites in a series of confrontations in religious wars, often beating numerically superior opponents .
Prague’s biggest film event, Febiofest, gets underway on Thursday evening. The festival will deliver more than 160 movies in 15 categories, including New Europe, a competition section showcasing debuts. Viewers can also look forward to profiles of critically acclaimed directors and stars such as French singer and actor Charles Aznavour and Sherlock’s Mark Gattis.
Ice Mother by Bohdan Sláma swept the boards at the main domestic film awards, the Czech Lions, on Saturday night. The bittersweet family drama collected six prizes, including Best Film and Best Director. This year’s Czech Lion ceremony was also marked by political protest, with some filmmakers taking a stand against the country’s leaders.