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'Amadeus' director Milos Forman dies at 86

15 April 2018, 12:38 | Jermaine Blake

Milos Forman Dies At 86: Celebrities, Fans React To 'Amadeus' Director's Death

Oscar-winning director Milos Forman dies at 86: Czech media

Czech filmmaker Milos Forman, whose American movies One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus won a deluge of Academy Awards, including best director Oscars, died Saturday.

Czech news agency CTK reported that Forman died on Friday in the United States after a short illness. Forman's manager Dennis Aspland also confirmed the same.

Forman first attracted global attention with such features as Black Peter (1964), The Loves of a Blonde (1965) - an Oscar nominee for best foreign-language film - and The Firemen's Ball (1967), which put him in hot water with the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.

At his lowest point he was offered the chance to direct One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, another anti-authoritarian parable adapted from Ken Kesey's novel.

The winners included Jack Nicholson as lead actor, Louise Fletcher as lead actress, screenwriters Bo Goldman and Lawrence Hauben, Forman as director and the film itself for best picture.

However, that wasn't the end of it as Forman went on to win his second Oscar for the 1984 Hollywood film "Amadeus", a biopic of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

"That is the only way to open the film to a certain kind of lightness", he said.

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Forman said the film's central issues of censorship and free expression were influenced by his youth in Eastern Europe, when filmmakers and other artists were limited in what they could say by the communist regime. Later, both his parents died in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II.

Hunting for locations, Forman realized Prague was the only European capital that had changed little since Mozart's time, but returning there initially filled him with dread.

Forman's other films include "Hair" (1979), "Ragtime" (1981), "Valmont" (1989) and "Goya's Ghosts" (2006).

At the time, Forman was in Paris, in negotiations for Taking Off, a USA production about the youth protest movement.

Forman rebounded four years later with the iconic "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", which won five Academy Awards, including one for himself as director.

Writer and producer Larry Karaszewski, who made Man On The Moon and The People vs Larry Flynt with Forman, wrote: "Milos Forman was our friend and our teacher". Their twin sons Andrew and James were named after Kaufman and Jim Carrey, who portrayed the madcap comic in Man on the Moon.



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