Director of Czech Cinema, born February 18, 1932 in Kaslow.
Son of a Jew and a Protestant, his parents die in the concentration camp of Auschwitz and it is educated by his uncle. He studied music and drama at the Academy of Prague and address at the famous FAMU, one of the best schools in the Eastern European cinema. Starts working in the theatre in Prague under the orders of Alfred Radok, who happens in as director in 1960, and later made contact with the film: writes scripts and collaborates with some that are peers of the generation in what has been called "new Czech Cinema". In this time he met cinematographer Miroslav Ondricek, with whom he collaborated during his professional career.
Political openness that occurs in Czechoslovakia in the 1960s, the "spring of Prague", leads to the birth of a film critical of the system and close to the everyday life of the Middle, close individual at certain times to local customs that represent Vera Chytilova or Jan Nemec. In this context, the early films of form constitutes a revolution. Influenced by Czech novelists who rebel against the prevailing aesthetic dogmas in the 1950s, it presents portraits of working-class far removed from socialist realism formulas. His vision of the world is strongly rooted in humanist posture and realistic, anti-ideological, "cynical" of Czech literature as Jaroslav Hasek or Bohumil Hrabal, whose closely watched trains novel is made into a film by Jirî Menzel and becomes one of the great films of the Czech cinema.
Achieved worldwide success with the ACE of pic (Bilsajten, 1963), his first feature film, which was awarded the prize of the Czech critics. Attacked at the beginning by the Stalinist sectors, the more liberal faction of the Communist Party, by then emerging, appropriates his film as an example of the new kind of "Socialist art". The huge echo obtained at international festivals makes him the star of the Czech new wave.
His style is characterized by the use of non-professional actors, a skillful use of direct sound and taste by improvisation, as well as a very good use of music. These features are especially present in the loves of a blonde (1964), romantic comedy about a young woman spends a night with a jazz musician who falls for him. Forman wrote the screenplay in collaboration with those who would then be managers Ivan Passer and Jaroslav Papousek. In 1967 made Hori, ma panenko, where returns to collaborate with Passer in writing. It's a realistic comedy that also functions as a political allegory about the decision of the Communist Party to reveal the crimes committed in the purges of the 1950s, then known as "Slánský trial". Shortly after the Soviet invasion in August of 1968, the film is forbidden and form decided to remain abroad.
After a brief stay in France, where he meets that will be his collaborator on numerous occasions, the actor and writer Jean-Claude Carrière, he settled in New York. Youth without hope (1971) is the first American film and the most personal of which they made out of the former Czechoslovakia. Photo of Ondricek, accompanying him in his exile, form used unknown actors and an original screenplay that works for the first time with Carrière. It is the only one of his films in the United States that is not adaptation of a literary work. Youth without hope tells House of a teenager and the change that it produces in the lives of their parents to flee. Gets the Grand Prize of the jury at the Cannes film festival.
During the Olympic Games of Munich in 1972, wheel the episode for the Decathlon in the documentary Visions of eight, where he collaborates with some of the best directors of the moment. In 1975 he was appointed director of the Department of film at the University of Columbia.
The adaptation of the legendary novel by Ken Kesey someone flew over the nest of the cuckoo (1975) becomes your greatest success and one of his best films. Michael Douglas joins the producer Saul Zaentz and produces the film to United Artists. Screenplay by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman significantly softens the novel, above all with regard to the use of drugs. The film becomes a great success of public and critics and received five Oscar of the Academy. Four years later he directs Hair (1979), adaptation of the cult written by Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot musical. The adaptation of the Broadway hit arrives too late and their protest against the Viet Nam war makes no sense. The film is outdated before being shot. They form does not adapt to the genre, despite having extraordinary choreography by Twyla Tharp. With Ragtime (1981) recovers part of relative previous failure. Adaptation of the great novel by E. L. Doctorow, an interracial drama in lathe is a black pianist in New York in the 1930s. The film is nominated for eight Oscar and assumes the last appearance on the screen of James Cagney, who had been retired twenty years.
In 1984 form directs another of his greatest films, Amadeus, provided his second Oscar for best director. He returned to collaborate with producer Saul Zaentz and returned to Czechoslovakia to roll. Based on the play by Peter Shaffer, responsible also for the screenplay, tells the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from the point of view of Antonio Salieri, his contemporary and rival at the Court of Vienna in the 18th century. The film is nominated for twelve Oscar and get nine, including best film.
After his enormous success, he collaborates with the French producer Claude Berri to shoot your next project, Valmont (1990), adaptation of the classic erotic novel dangerous liaisons of Choderlos de Laclos. Almost at the same time, Stephen Frears makes his adaptation of this same work and obtained a great success which partly eclipsed version form, even though this is in many ways superior and is more faithful to the spirit of the original novel. His next work is the scandal of Larry Flint (1996), film biography of the editor of the erotic magazine Hustler, played by Woody Harrelson, and fighting censorship over the years.
As director: 1963: Konkurs.1964: ACE of pic.1965: the loves of a rubia.1967: Hori, ma panenko! 1971: Youth without esperanza.1973: Visions of eight.1975: one flew over the cuco.1979's nest: Hair.1981: Ragtime.1984: Amadeus.1989: Valmont.1996: the scandal of Larry Flint.1999: Man of of Moon.2002: The sipping news.
Other works in cinema: 1955: Nechte to na mne (co-writer). 1956: grandfather automobile (actor and woe. address). 1957: Stenata (argument, co-writer and ay. address). 1962: Tam za lesem (actor and woe, to address). 1968: clamp it to ongles (co-writer). 1975: Le male du siècle (argument).