Milos Forman Appreciation: A Civilized Filmmaker Who Loved Rebels

Milos Forman, who died last week at 86, directed only 12 dramatic features, a startlingly compact résumé when you consider that his career spanned 60 years and more than a few filmmaking epochs, from the Czech New Wave of the ’60s to the New Hollywood ’70s to the post-indie ’90s.

Yet almost every one of those movies looms large.

That’s because Forman — auteur, actor, professor, expatriate, bon vivant — chose each new project with majestic commitment and care.

His two most famous films, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) and “Amadeus” (1984), both dominated the Academy Awards, lending Forman a cachet that helped to sustain his career.

Yet even after the triumph of “Amadeus,” he didn’t direct another movie for five years.

His films, at a glance, are strikingly eclectic, but what unites them is an overwhelming sly proclivity: Forman, coming out of Czechoslovakia just as it was being crushed by Soviet Communism,

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