Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
We look at 'Fantasia' in a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - and don't forget to subscribe to our podcast!x
review, Forman vs. Forman, Forman, vs., Forman, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Petr Forman, Miloš Forman, Václav Havel, Věra Křesadlová, Amos Vogel, Gustáv Husák, Michael Douglas, Martina Formanová, Helena Třeštíková, Jakub Hejna, Documentary, History

FORMAN VS. FORMAN

★★★★

THE LIFE OF A CREATIVE REBEL

MELBOURNE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
28th June 2020

"He was always gentle and always brought out my best," wildcard Courtney Love wrote of filmmaker Miloš Forman after his death in 2018. "I was surrounded by love on both of my films with him, and other than Kurt and Frances, they remain the highest points in my life."

Jakub Hejna and Helena Třeštíková's comprehensive documentary 'Forman vs. Forman' uses archive interviews, scenes from his classic films, visits to Forman's film sets, and home videos shot by the filmmaker himself to trace the life of a man who made many films about human beings refusing to be confined by societal norms. It eschews any modern interviews, although Petr Forman, Miloš' son, narrates sections of the film.

Born in what's now the Czech Republic, Forman's early life was dominated by the influence of totalitarian regimes; his parents were both killed in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and he eventually left then-Czechoslovakia, and the Czech New Wave movement of which he was a guiding light ("we would rail at the Czech films being produced - they were dripping in idiocy"), after facing government suppression of his celebrated satirical film 'The Fireman's Ball'. Centred on a crew of bumbling, incompetent firefighters, the film was widely seen as a critique of the country's government, which ultimately banned it from ever being shown within its borders. It was a victim of "a country of made-up, forged bullshit films".

'FORMAN VS. FORMAN' TRAILER

Shortly thereafter, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia prompted Forman to emigrate to the United States. His first American-made film, 'Taking Off' (1971), was a commercial failure, but he found mainstream success four years later with his incisive adaptation of Ken Kesey's 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest', which won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Forman's subsequent filmography is full of rich fictionalised portraits, both of eras ('Hair', 'Ragtime', 'Valmont') and of real individuals ('The People vs. Larry Flynt', 'Man On The Moon'). To date, his masterwork remains the brilliant 'Amadeus', a vividly textured, gorgeously realised reinterpretation of the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that swept the Oscars in 1984.

Miloš Forman experienced life-changing events and was able to take advantage of them and turn them into a narrative of an individual‛s never-ending fight for freedom against institutions.

'Forman vs. Forman' sees the director muse on working within the Hollywood system and his humble yet complex childhood - in recordings from the early 1980s with Věra Chytilová and Jaromil Jireš he discusses freedom, creative work and the restrictions on both. The film also captures him in remarkably relaxed moments, like when one of his infant sons picks a DVD for them to watch together. Unfortunately, it's the Tom Cruise-starring 'The Last Samurai'. "It's about this guy who wants to become a samurai, so... he's trying to become a samurai," Forman explains, with supreme disinterest, to the boy.

Miloš Forman experienced life-changing events and was able to take advantage of them and turn them into a narrative of an individual‛s never-ending fight for freedom against institutions. Jakub Hejna and Helena Třeštíková's film does a remarkable job of connecting the archives and Forman's words and this clear account of the life of one of the world's greatest filmmakers should be embraced by anyone who has any interest in the complex relationship between fortune, misfortune, politics and the creative arts.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 17m
CAST: Petr Forman
Miloš Forman
Václav Havel
Věra Křesadlová
Amos Vogel
Gustáv Husák
Michael Douglas
Martina Formanová
DIRECTORS: Helena Třeštíková
Jakub Hejna
WRITER: Helena Třeštíková
PRODUCERS: Heike Lettau
Zdeněk Hala
Magda Gärtnerová
Alexander Von Harling
Yvette Durrenberger
Kateřina Černá
Markéta Štinglová
Christine Camdessus
Tereza Rímská
Tamara Hotařová
SCORE: Gilles Sivilotto
formanvsforman
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Melbourne Documentary Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
Beyond The River - An inspirational sporting journey
TRENDINGBEYOND THE RIVERAn inspirational sporting journey
Leaving Allen Street - Following residents out of institutional care and into our hearts
TRENDINGLEAVING ALLEN STREETFollowing residents out of institutional care and into our hearts
In My Blood It Runs - An eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
TRENDINGIN MY BLOOD IT RUNSAn eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
The Personal History of David Copperfield - A rhapsodic delight on taking ownership of our own stories
TRENDINGTHE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELDA rhapsodic delight on taking ownership of our own stories
Over the Limit - A real-life psychological thriller
TRENDINGOVER THE LIMITA real-life psychological thriller
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
The Miracle of the Little Prince - A time capsule of dying languages and civilisations
TRENDINGTHE MIRACLE OF THE LITTLE PRINCEA time capsule of dying languages and civilisations
Double Lover - Softcore pornography for cinephiles
TRENDINGDOUBLE LOVERSoftcore pornography for cinephiles
About A Boy - All grown up 15 years on
TRENDINGABOUT A BOYAll grown up 15 years on
Scheme Birds - A gritty journey to adulthood in Scotland
TRENDINGSCHEME BIRDSA gritty journey to adulthood in Scotland
The World's Best Film - A second chance at life to follow your passion
TRENDINGTHE WORLD'S BEST FILMA second chance at life to follow your passion
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
Flying High - Still landing jokes 40 years after take-off
TRENDINGFLYING HIGHStill landing jokes 40 years after take-off
The Land Before Time - 30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
TRENDINGTHE LAND BEFORE TIME30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
Waterloo - An epic recreation of the legendary battle
TRENDINGWATERLOOAn epic recreation of the legendary battle
Melbourne Documentary Film Festival 2020 - The reviews
TRENDINGMELBOURNE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL 2020The reviews
Tumbbad - Visually rich Hindi horror
TRENDINGTUMBBADVisually rich Hindi horror
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
TRENDINGHAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us