The Loves of a System: Miloš Forman and Barrandov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Miloš Forman began his career as a filmmaker at the Barrandov Studios in Prague in the 1960s and films Amadeus with Barrandov in the early 1980s. The contrast between the high budget historical spectacle of Amadeus and the gently ironic realism of his 1960s films could not be more pronounced. I will explore here the changes that mark both Forman’s own development as a filmmaker between the 1960s and the 1980s as well as considering the impact of normalisation on the Barrandov Studios following the events of August 1968. During the 1960s, aside from its relationship with the young filmmakers of the New Wave, Barrandov supported an extraordinary range of films from popular to historical epics. Under the directorship of Josef Veselý, Barrandov turned out to be an environment that produced films that were successful with the public, formally experimental and politically challenging. The situation at Barrandov after 1968 quickly changed and Forman decided not to return to Czechoslovakia. Forman’s films during the 1970s in the USA brought him a level of international fame and popularity that is unrivalled in the history of Czech cinema but showed a radical departure from the films of the 1960s. This change culminates with Amadeus and his return to Barrandov. Even as his budgets increased massively, there was a loss of quality in the films of the 1970s and beyond and we can see in Amadeus, both as film and as production, a parable of exploitation and decadence that mourns the creative possibilities of the 1960s.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Barrandov Studios
Subtitle of host publicationA Central European Hollywood
EditorsBernd Herzogenrath
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
ISBN (Print)9789462989450
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Miloš Forman
  • Barrandov Studios
  • Existential Revolution
  • realism
  • production history


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