Milos Forman's first color film and the last movie he made before fleeing Czechoslovakia for the United States, The Fireman's Ball (1967) is arguably a satire of the political climate he was running from - though to be fair it may just as easily be a satire of the political climate he was running to. Small town corruption by incompetent fools can be extrapolated so many different ways. Forman himself said he meant nothing - and he doesn't seem to have anything to gain by lying about it - but the third act lays it on pretty think. But then, maybe I just want to believe.
We're headed back to Czechoslovakia this week for a few rounds with prolific Czech director Milos Forman. First up is Loves of a Blonde, Forman's 1965 comedy about a working class girl in need of...distraction. It's possibly the best known film of the Czech New Wave, and for good reason.
On the other side of the Czechoslovakian New Wave we started into last week come a film with a wholly different sensibility. Jiri Menzel's Cloesly Watched Trains (1966) also takes place in a Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, but instead of the emotional drama on the dangers of ignorance that was last week's film we get a coming-of-age sex romp about a kid who'd really just like to lose his virginity please -- Porky's if Porky was a legitimate Nazi.
Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos's The Shop on Main Street (1965) is an incredible film, one of my favorites we've seen so far in this project. Set against the backdrop of the Nazi aryanization of Czechoslovakia during World War II, Main Street is a tale of willful ignorance and the dangers of pretending everything is fine.