Milos Forman’s Formative Films

Long before he won Oscars for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, Milos Forman was just another struggling film student in a beret. Another strike against him: He was working behind the Iron Curtain, where all art was censored or heavily controlled by Soviet authorities. This Tuesday–Wednesday night retrospective presents five early works by the Czechoslovakian auteur (now 76 years old and inactive since his 2006 Goya’s Ghosts). Milos Forman’s Formative Films begins with his 1963 Audition (actually comprising two related shorts) and Black Peter (1964). Both prick gently against the Communist state—and also against parents, bosses, sexual repression, bureaucracies, and rules of any kind. Forman was a wary satirist who knew he couldn’t make any more movies from a jail cell. Also, the radicalizing Prague Spring of ’68 was still ahead of him. After that abortive revolution, he would flee to the West, later making his first American picture, 1971’s Taking Off, which concludes the series October 1. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380, $20–25 (series), $5–$8.50 (individual). 7:15 & 9:15 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

Tue., Sept. 16; Tuesdays, Wednesdays. Starts: Sept. 16. Continues through Oct. 1, 2008

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