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THE LOVES OF A BLONDE

Czechoslovakia, 1965 (MIFF 1966, Programme 11)

Director: Miloš Forman

The Loves of a Blonde confirms the exceptionally engaging talent of Milos Forman, revealed last year in his Peter and Pavla. The heroine, blonde Andula, all wide-eyed innocence, works in a factory and lives in a hostel; vulnerably romantic, she is picked up by a young jazz musician. The night they spend together is the start of something precious for her, but the boy is utterly nonplussed when, returning home one evening, he finds that Andula has called to see him.

Much of Forman's charm as a director comes from his realisation of the essential shyness of human beings; his characters gaze at the world out of gently bemused eyes, always expecting the worst of other people, yet always provoking an equally gentle response. Convincingly counterpoised with the pathos is the comedy - particularly in the dance hall interlude and the finale, an extended, brilliantly sustained scene, in which Andula unexpectedly reappears. In the opinion of some critics, this alone would have made The Loves of a Blonde one of the outstanding films of the year.

C.I.D.A.L.C. Prize, Venice Festival.

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