The Firemen's Ball

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.

Closely Watched Trains

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.