Milos Forman: five key films

Milos Forman poses after being presented with the 'Giraldillo' award for his lifelong career achievements at Seville Film Festival
AFP

Paris (France) (AFP) – Milos Forman’s eclectic filmography showcases Oscar-winning classics and an impressive range of interests, from historical figures to controversial themes, and always with a penchant for rebellious characters. 

Here is a selection:

– ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ (1975) –

This adaptation of Ken Kesey’s classic novel brought Forman his first Oscar for best director in his sad yet bitterly funny portrait of a sane prisoner transferred to a mental institution who meets a matron more twisted than any madness.

– ‘Ragtime’ (1981) –

In another adaptation, this time from an E. L. Doctorow novel and nominated for eight Oscars, Forman explored the roots of racism in the US via an epic 1900s fresco set in and around New York following a black jazz pianist’s experience of deep injustice and his radical rebellion, with fatal consequences.

-‘Amadeus’ (1984) –

‘But why? Why would God choose an obscene child to be His instrument?’. Although the title suggested a biopic about Mozart, the heart of Forman’s Oscar-winning film, which scooped 8 of the 11 awards it was nominated for, was Antonio Salieri, and his seething jealousy for the genius composer.

‘The People vs. Larry Flynt’ (1996) –

Porn baron Larry Flynt, publisher of X-rated Hustler magazine who became an unlikely emblem of free speech following a string of legal battles over his work, was eulogised by Forman in this biopic with Oscar-nominated Woody Harrelson in the title role.

– ‘Man on the Moon’ (1999) –

Jim Carrey applied his method acting principle to the extreme, and won a Golden Globe for his efforts, in this daring portrayal of reckless and legendary comedian Andy Kaufman, who worked through the New York comedy clubs and onto prime time TV. 

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