Film & Theatre

PREVIEW: The Image Speaks: Miloš Forman and the Free Cinema Movement


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‘The importance of ordinary people, the everyday, belief in artistic freedom and the rejection of established cinematic norms are some of the principles common to the early work of Czech director Milos Forman and the British Free Cinema movement. This programme, jointly curated with Close-Up and screening from original 16mm and 35mm prints, marks Miloš Forman’s 85th birthday. It uncovers for the first time the striking and instructive resemblances in the development of Czech and British cinema which evolved on parallel and sometimes interconnecting courses.

“Implicit in our attitude is a belief in freedom, in the importance of people and in the significance of the everyday” – Lindsay Anderson, Free Cinema Manifesto

In Britain young filmmakers led by Lindsay Anderson rejected mainstream 1950s British films detached from the social reality of everyday life. Calling for personal, authentic cinema representing ordinary, working class people they screened their films as part of the National Film Theatre programme between 1956 and 1959 coining the term Free Cinema.

Czech director Miloš Forman, mostly known for his multiple Academy Award winning films One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, started his film career in opposition to classic narrative cinema harnessed to ideological conformity. As was the case in Britain, everyday reality was absent from Czech screens so Forman started to use mainly non-professional actors and scripts almost totally lacking in conventional dramatic development, based on the reality surrounding him.

Anderson’s own work is represented in the programme by his largely improvised documentary Everyday Except Christmas capturing the life of the Covent Garden fruit and vegetable market and celebrating ordinary people at work with virtuoso cinematography and an imaginative soundtrack.

22 – 30 April 2017
Close-Up Cinema, 97 Sclater St, London E1 6HR
£10 / £8 conc. / £6 Close-Up members
Box Office: 0203 784 7970
Online booking


Saturday 22 April 2017 
Poor Cow – 5.30pm
Ken Loach, 1967, 101 min, Colour, DCP
A Blonde In Love – 7.30pm
Miloš Forman, 1965, 75 min, B/W, 35mm
Sunday 23 April 2017, 7pm 

The Firemen’s Ball
Miloš Forman, 1967, 72 min, Colour, Digital
Lorenza Mazzetti, 1956, 52 min, B/W, 35mm 

Saturday 29 April 2017, 7.30 pm

Miloš Forman, 1963, 79 min, B/W, 35mm
Momma Don’t Allow
Karel Reisz & Tony Richardson, 1956, 22 min,
B/W, 16mm

Sunday 30 April, 7pm
Everyday Except Christmas

Lindsay Anderson, 1957, 40 min, B/W, 16mm
Refuge England
Robert Vas, 1959, 27 min, B/W, 16mm
We Are The Lambeth Boys
Karel Reisz, 1959, 52 min, B/W, 35mm

Organised and curated by the Czech Centre London and Close-Up Film Centre.
In partnership with National Film Archive. Supported by Techo.’



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