Czechoslovak New Wave
The Firemen’s Ball
Directed by Miloš Forman • 1967 • Czechoslovakia
Starring Jan Vostrcil, Josef Šebánek, František Reinstein
A milestone of the Czech New Wave, Miloš Forman’s first color film THE FIREMEN’S BALL is both a dazzling comedy and a provocative political satire. A hilarious saga of good intentions confounded, the story chronicles a firemen’s ball where nothing goes right, from a beauty pageant whose reluctant participants embarrass the organizers to a lottery from which nearly all the prizes are pilfered. Presumed to be a commentary on the floundering Czech leadership, the film was “banned forever” in Czechoslovakia following the Russian invasion and prompted Forman’s move to America.
Up Next in Czechoslovak New Wave
Directed by Jiří Menzel • 1968 • Czechoslovakia
Two years after his worldwide hit CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS, Jiří Menzel directed this amusing idyll about three middle-aged men whose mellow summer is interrupted by the arrival of a circus performer and his beautiful assistant. A meditation on agi...
A Boring Afternoon
Directed by Ivan Passer • 1968 • Czechoslovakia
Patrons of a bar interact on a summer Sunday afternoon.
Directed by Jaromil Jireš • 1969 • Czechoslovakia
Jaromil Jire≈°'s brilliant adaptation of Milan Kundera's novel tells the fragmentary tale of a man expelled from the Communist Party because of a political joke. After "rehabilitation" in the mines and a stint in prison, he hatches a revenge plot...