Loves of a Blonde to screen in Cannes Classics

09 May 2019

Czech Film

Loves of a Blonde to screen in Cannes Classics

Czech Film

Loves of a Blonde to screen in Cannes Classics

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A restored version of Miloš Forman’s iconic Loves of a Blonde screens this year in the Cannes Classics showcase (MAY 18). This marks the third time a Czech classic has appeared in this prestigious section in recent years, following Diamonds of the Night, in 2018, and Ikarie XB 1, in 2016.

Article by Markéta Šantrochová for Czech Film Magazine / Summer 2019

Forman is known to moviegoers the world over as the creativeforce behind such unforgettable works as Black Peter, The Firemen’s Ball, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and, of course, Amadeus, winner of every prestigious film award there is, from the Oscars to the Golden Globes and Cannes to the Berlinale.

The director, who passed away last year at age 86, was a brilliant observer of human nature and a storyteller whose films overflowed with his love of people.

Loves of a Blonde was Forman’s third feature, inspired by a real-life experience. As he describes it, “I was in between my first and second marriage, so at night I would often walk aimlessly, going from pub to pub, visiting one friend after the next. One time, after midnight, I was driving home down Všehrdova Street when I saw a girl with a suitcase walking across the bridge, so I stopped the car and offered to help. She told me she had come to meet a boy she’d met in Varnsdorf a few days earlier, but then found out the address he had given her was false.”

“For some reason,” Forman said, “the story made a big impact on me, and I kept remembering it at unexpected times. So finally I decided to ask Ivan Passer and Jaroslav Papoušek if they thought we could make a film out of it. And they said yes.”

To give the film an authentic feel, they shot it in Zruč nad Sázavou, which had a shoe factory where most of the employees were women. A lot of the locals ended up appearing in the film, giving Forman a chance to prove his skill at directing nonactors together with professionals, which came to be a trademark of his.

In the movie, Andula lives in a small factory town where there are sixteen women for every man, stacking the odds against her in her desperate search for love. But then one day a rakish piano player shows up, temporarily offering the prospect of relief. With its tender and humorous look at Andula’s path from the first pangs of romance to inevitable disappointment, Loves of a Blonde became an instant classic of the Czechoslovak New Wave and earned Forman the first of his many Academy Award nominations.

Loves of a Blonde premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in 1965. In 2019, the National Film Archive in Prague digitally restored the film.

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