This screening is part of the Close-Up cinema season on Milos Forman and the British Free Cinema movement, in collaboration with the Czech Centre London.
Tonight's film is introduced by Dr David Sorfa, a senior lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh and managing editor of the journal Film-Philosophy. David Sorfa has written on Michael Haneke, Jan Švankmajer and Czech cinema as well as a broad range of other film subjects and has a particular interest in film-philosophy and film adaptation. He discusses The Fireman’s Ball on the occasion of the recent Blu-ray release of the film.
The Fireman's Ball is part of a double-bill with:
Together (Lorenza Mazzetti, 1952 | B/W | 35mm)
Together is set in London's East End, with its bombsites, narrow streets, riversides, warehouses, markets and pubs. It follows two deaf-mute dockers who are completely cut-off from the outside world and are constantly pursued by groups of jeering children. Its modern depiction of everyday working-class life and its new approach to realism were inspired by Italian neo-realism and by the techniques used by Mazzetti's Free Cinema friends.
Chicago Reader review of The Fireman's Ball:
Milos Forman's 1967 film of little people confronting little disasters, as the annual ball of a small Czech town goes hopelessly wrong. With Loves of a Blonde, it's the best work Forman's done, rooted in a social reality that has eluded him in his American projects, and directed with a nonlinear suppleness that suggests the formal achievement of Jacques Tati. From a script by Forman, Jaroslav Papousek, and Ivan Passer; photographed by Miroslav Ondricek.
Here (and above) is an extract.