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Saturday, September 17

Monday, September 19

Czechoslovakia, 1956
Directed by Alfréd Radok
Starring Raymond Bussières, Ginette Pigeon, Annette Poivre, Luděk Munzar, Radovan Lukavský

Approx. 94 min. DCP. Newly subtitled in English.

Alfréd Radok, whom Forman calls a directing genius of theater and cinema, was only allowed to make a few films before he escaped Czechoslovakia where his outsized talent was not appreciated. He poured his own tragic experience from the concentration camps into his feature debut DISTANT JOURNEY (1949), the first narrative film to depict the Holocaust. In OLD MAN MOTOR CAR he turned to a much lighter topic: the pioneers of motor sports of the early 1900s and the beauty of old motor vehicles. Weaving together real archival footage of the early races in France with narrative sequences stylized as a documentary of the era, Radok conveys a charming story about a Czech team of mechanics and racers based on real personalities of the industry and their success in sport and love. Forman, who tested his acting skills for the first time in the opening scene of the film, saw Radok as a great influence. Even if their cinematic styles couldn’t be more different, their devotion to filmmaking was equal. After this collaboration, Forman worked with Radok for several years on the extremely innovative multimedia theater Laterna Magika, which premiered at the Expo 1958 world fair in Brussels delighting critics and audiences alike.

Film Forum