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Slideshow

THE FIREMEN’S BALL

Monday, September 12
12:30   4:10

Thursday, September 15
9:00

Friday, September 16
4:20

Saturday, September 17
12:30   6:10

Thursday, September 22
3:45

Czechoslovakia, 1967
Directed by Miloš Forman
Starring Jan Vostrčil, Josef Šebánek, Josef Valnoha
Approx. 77 min. New DCP Restoration.


Bad day for the fire brigade: during the dance honoring their chief’s retirement the raffle prizes, a penitent thief is caught by too-quick light up after a no-questions-asked blackout, causing a debate whether his attempted return was judicious; the beauty pageant suffers from a paucity of willing girls; and a halt for an actual alarm is prolonged when that darned fire just won’t go out. The chief’s final close-up is one for the ages. 

Reviews

“A brilliant satire of the Communist state in which a volunteer fire department attempts to throw a party for their one-time boss on his birthday with disastrous results. Although it hits its satiric targets with pinpoint accuracy, it is never cruel towards its characters and indeed, there is a certain sweetness and sympathy to Forman’s approach that prevents it from degenerating into a mere screed.”
– Roger Ebert

“A delicious parody-fable of Slavic bureaucracy.”
– TIME

“Forman’s comedy is special. The timing and involutions of the humor are such that there is escalating laughter, while an awareness of the sadness of things — real fire, monumental pettiness — deepens as well.”
– Renata Adler, The New York Times

Film Forum