A triumph of the musical genre, and an uplifting recollection of America during the Vietnam War, Forman’s take on the Broadway sensation celebrates reckless behavior through Twyla Tharp’s energetic choreography and a string of unforgettable anthems. Released at the end of the 1970s, the film is marked by a strong nostalgia for the politically charged mood, raw passions, and youthful anxieties of the previous decade. –AFI
Forman grew up in a small town near Prague. Orphaned when his parents, a Jewish professor and a Protestant housewife, died in Nazi concentration camps, he was reared by two uncles and family friends. In the mid-1950s Forman studied at the film school of the University of Prague. Upon graduating he wrote two screenplays, the first of which, Nechte to na mn (“Leave It to Me”), was filmed in 1955 by noted Czech director Martin Fri. Forman in 1957 was himself an assistant director on the second of these screenplays, a situation comedy entitled Stenata (“The Puppies”).
Throughout the late 1950s and early ‘60s Forman acted as either writer or assistant director on other films. He directed his first major productions in 1963: Cerný Petr (Black Peter) and Konkurs (Talent Competition). These films had great success both domestically and on the international festival circuit, and Forman was hailed as a major talent of the Czech New Wave. His early films… read more