For­man, Os­car-win­ning di­rec­tor of ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ and Amadeus, dies at 86

Stabroek News Sunday - - WORLD NEWS -

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Mi­los For­man, the Czech-born movie di­rec­tor who found fame in Hol­ly­wood with the Os­car-win­ning classics “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus,” has died at the age of 86.

For­man passed away on Fri­day in the United States, where he lived, af­ter a short ill­ness, his wife, Martina, told Czech news agency CTK on Satur­day.

“His de­par­ture was calm and he was sur­rounded the whole time by his fam­ily and his clos­est friends,” she said.

For­man was born in the Czech town of Caslav on Feb. 18, 1932. He moved to the United States af­ter the Com­mu­nist crack­down on the “Prague Spring” upris­ing in 1968 and be­came a US cit­i­zen in the 1970s.

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” in which a psy­chi­atric in­sti­tu­tion be­comes a mi­cro­cosm of the con­tem­po­rary world, and “Amadeus,” the life of 18th-cen­tury com­poser Wolf­gang Amadeus Mozart through the eyes of his ri­val An­to­nio Salieri, earned 13 Os­cars be­tween them, in­clud­ing those for best di­rec­tor to For­man.

His other no­table work in­cluded the rock mu­si­cal “Hair” in 1979, “Rag­time” in 1981 and “The Peo­ple vs Larry Flynt” in 1996, which was nom­i­nated for an Academy Award that year.

Jim Car­rey, star of For­man’s 1999 Andy Kauf­man biopic “Man on the Moon”, said on Twit­ter: “An­other great one passes through the door­way. Mi­los Fore­man. What a force. A lovely man. I’m glad we got to play to­gether. It was a mon­u­men­tal ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Larry Karaszewski, the cowriter for “Man on the Moon” and “The Peo­ple vs Larry Flynt”, called For­man a master filmmaker.

“No one bet­ter at cap­tur­ing small un­re­peat­able mo­ments of hu­man be­hav­iour,” he said on Twit­ter. “Mi­los loved life. I will miss his laugh­ter.”

Be­fore em­i­grat­ing, For­man stud­ied at the Prague Film Academy (FAMU) and was a lead­ing fig­ure of the Cze­choslo­vak New Wave film move­ment, along with direc­tors Ivan Passer, Vera Chytilova and oth­ers.

He was raised an or­phan af­ter both his par­ents died in con­cen­tra­tion camps dur­ing World War Two.

Mi­los For­man

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