The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will pay tribute to Milos Forman when its opens its 53rd edition June 29 with a screening of Loves of a Blonde.
The 1965 classic about a young woman’s attempts to find love in a town with too few men will be part of a range of special events devoted to the Czech director, including an opening-night concert where the Czech National Symphony Orchestra will play music from some of his other famous films, including The Fireman’s Ball, Taking Off, Valmont, Amadeus and Hair, festival organizers unveiled Monday in Prague.
Forman, who emigrated to America after Russian tanks put an end to the reformist so-called Prague Spring movement in 1968, died April 13 in Warren, Conn., where he had lived for many years. He was 86.
Born in the small town of Caslav, east of Prague, Forman became a key director of the Czech New Wave of the 1960s before finding fame in Hollywood with films such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, both of which won a slew of Oscars.
Forman is credited by Karlovy Vary festival president Jiri Bartoska with having been instrumental in helping attract top Hollywood guests in the late 1990s, including Michael Douglas and Woody Harrelson, helping bring the festival, based in a Bohemian spa town, international recognition.
“Milos Forman was not only an excellent filmmaker, but also a great friend of the Karlovy Vary festival,” Bartoska said. “We have decided to remember him not through laudatory speeches, but through what he symbolized — film.”
Renowned American indie director and producer Richard Linklater will attend the festival as part of an homage to the nonprofit Austin Film Society, which Linklater founded in 1985. “Made in Texas: A Home to the Austin Film Society” will showcase nine feature-length films and two blocks of short films, including Linklater’s cult debut Slackers, last seen at Karlovy Vary in its Forum of Independents section in 1991.
Casey Affleck, who was the recipient last year of the festival’s President’s Award, will appear in the new festival trailer, which will be presented at the event’s opening gala.
The 53rd edition of the Karlovy Vary IFF runs June 29-July 7.