Though Czechoslovakian filmmaker Miloš Forman, who passed away on April 13 at the age of 86, directed only 13 feature films, the two American films for which he received Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture cemented his legacy as an icon in the art of cinema. We will be presenting both of these landmark films at The Frida in May: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on May 6, 7, and 8, and Amadeus: The Director’s Cut on May 19 and 20.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
May 6 – 4:30pm & 7:30pm / May 7 – 2pm, 5pm, 7:30pm / May 8 – 2pm, 5pm, 7:30pm
Randle McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), a charismatic criminal with manic behavior, pleads insanity in court to avoid jail time. He is relocated to an insane asylum where he meets Nurse Ratchet (Louise Fletcher), who rules the psychiatric ward with an iron fist, and zero tolerance for the slightest sign of rebellious behavior. As Randall creates chaos for the Nurse with his fellow inmates, including Native American Chief Bromden (Will Sampson), Billy (Brad Dourif), Martini (Danny Devito), and Taber (Christopher Lloyd, in his acting debut), the film examines the themes of conformity and individuality that made author Ken Kesey’s source 1962 novel a staple of the counter-culture movement.
The second of only three films in history to win the “Big 5” sweep of Academy Awards – Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher), Best Screenplay (Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman), Best Director (Miloš Forman), and Best Picture of the Year – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is an undeniable masterpiece elevated by extraordinary performances by the entire cast, and Forman’s extraordinary direction which manages to add levity and dark humor to the proceedings in a setting that is otherwise sparse, sterile, and seemingly devoid of hope and joy.
Amadeus: The Director’s Cut
May 19 – 3:30pm & 7:30pm / May 20 – 3:30pm & 7:30pm
A meticulously period-accurate masterpiece which received overwhelming acclaim from respected critics and moviegoers alike, Amadeus swept international film festival awards, and took home eight Academy Awards. Adapted from Peter Shaffer’s stage-show of the same name, the story focuses on the rise and fall of the young genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce), as told by the man who considered himself Mozart’s greatest rival, the pious Antonio Salieri (Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham). Essentially confessing his sins by relating the story to a priest, the aging Salieri – confined in an insane asylum – recalls the events that occurred decades ago when Mozart first gained favor for his musical talent within the Austrian court by the emperor Joseph II (Jeffrey Jones). Brimming with jealousy and rage that God would bestow such extraordinary talent on a man who he considers to be an impudent man-child, Salieri conceives of an insidious plot to satisfy his ravenous thirst for vengeance – both against Mozart, and against the God he feels betrayed him.
Director’s Cut version restores 20 minutes excised from the original theatrical release.