Jakub Hejna, Helena Trestíková
Art/Filmmaking, Biographical, Immigration
Documentary, Film Studies
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Czech directors Helena Tetíková and Jakub Hejna knit together rare archival footage in this cleverly edited documentary about late great filmmaker Milo Forman.
Through clips, the charismatic director offers up childhood memories both sweet and chilling: He recalls seeing his first movie, a silent version of the opera The Bartered Bride, with audience members who sang the score as well as being drugged by his mother while Gestapo officers pounded on the door of his childhood home, preparing to transport her to Auschwitz.
Forman escaped the concentration camps that claimed the lives of his parents, but his experience of being shuttled from family member to family member never left him. He remained a perpetual outsider, whether he was playing cat-and-mouse with Communist censors as a contrarian member of the Czech New Wave or directing the most lauded films of his career in the United States. No surprise, then, that both One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus pit their protagonists against the inner workings of immovable systems: Their plots accord with what Forman called “the major conflict of human existence.”
The city in which a film is set is often referred to as a character in its own right. This documentary aims to explore that concept, reflecting on the art of cinema in relation to its environment. With appearances by Wim Wenders, David Lynch, and Bernardo Bertolucci, among others.
The late great Nouvelle Vague pioneer Agnès Varda was an institution of French cinema but a fierce opponent of any kind of institutional thinking. This documentary invites you to join her on a retrospective journey through her unconventional oeuvre. It’s an honor.
As told through clips from 183 female directors with narration by Tilda Swinton, this epic 14-hour documentary by Mark Cousins (The Story of Film, DFF35) focuses on women’s integral role in the development of the art of cinema.