Thursday, September 15
Directed by Miloš Forman
Starring Jiří Suchý, Jiří Šlitr, Věra Křesadlová
Written by Miloš Forman and Ivan Passer
Approx. 88 min. DCP.
Forman’s first foray into independent filmmaking started as a fun project with friends: with Ivan Passer, co-creator of all his Czech films, and Miroslav Ondříček, who lensed most of his films on both sides of the Atlantic. With Forman’s new camera they set on documenting the Semafor theater, the immensely popular stage for small forms – from comedy skits to popular music performances and non-verbal theater – founded by Jiří Suchý and Jiří Šlitr. An audition for new female singers provides a hilarious opportunity to capture the vivacious atmosphere of the theater and what entertained young people at the time, with an authenticity that lay at the core of Forman’s interest and of the entire Czechoslovak New Wave. Another story about two guys escaping rehearsals of brass music orchestra in favor of racing their motorbikes rounds out the film to a full feature. It stars Vladimír Pucholt and Jan Vostrčil, the mainstays of Forman’s Czech films. Already from the outset Forman was a master of biting humor that puts what’s most human on full display.