I was very happy to receive this in the post yesterday. One of my all-time favourite film directors, Czech-born, New York-based Milos Forman signed and returned this drawing. Although I had corresponded with Milos a few times over the years, I had never actually sketched him, until late this year when the omission suddenly dawned on me. I quickly engaged the 4B and posted the result to the 84 year-old, forthwith. Regarded as one of the most acclaimed filmmakers of his generation and the master of ironic comedy and sumptuous period dramas, he was fascinated with odd, yet sympathetic characters, exploring their struggles as individuals against systems and standards that oppress them.
Growing up in the small, Central Bohemian town of Caslav, near Prague, it was Milos’ parents who nurtured his love of cinema at a young age. Sadly orphaned when both his mother and father died in Nazi concentration camps during the second World War, he went on to become the most important director of the Czechoslovak New Wave, before moving to America in 1968. His multiple accolades include two Best Director Academy Awards, the first for the potent adaption of Ken Kesey’s ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (1975) and his second for Peter Shaffer’s AMADEUS (1984), both Best Picture winners, with the former considered one of the best films ever made. Incidentally two of my top ten films as well.
In its Milos retrospective, the AFI summarised his body of work, “Based on intelligent scripts, Forman’s work is characterised by a sharp anti-authoritarian spirit and a lucid, heart felt humanism.”