A Blonde in Love DVD
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Directed by Milos Forman
Produced in 1965
Main Language - Czech with English subtitles
Hana Brejchova, Vladimir Pucholt
Miloö Forman's second full-length feature, A Blonde in Love, was a major breakthrough both for him and for Czech cinema. A commercial blockbuster at home, it garnered Forman his first Oscar nomination a decade before he made One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. But this was no cynically calculated international hit: its still considerable charm derives from its low-key parochialism, as well as its historical fascination over two decades after the fall of the Communist system that it gently mocks.
It's set in the industrial town of Zruč, a few dozen miles from Prague, and revolves around some benign social engineering conducted by the factory manager. Mindful of the fact that the local shoe industry has led to Zruč's female population outnumbering men by sixteen to one, he requests that an army regiment be billeted there. Naturally, things don't go according to plan: the strapping youngsters eagerly awaited by the girls turn out to be pudgy, balding, middle-aged and often married - the attempt by one to divest himself of his incriminating ring during the big set-piece dance event leads to an inspired bit of sustained slapstick that reminds us that the Czech New Wave owed as much to Chaplin and Keaton as anything contemporary. But despite this, title character Andula finds love in the arms of Milda, a musician playing at the dance, and for a brief moment a wonderful future opens up before her ... only to be dashed with the impact of a bucket of freezing water when she meets Milda's parents and learns a few home truths.
It's as much a political as a social satire, with Forman deftly slipping barbed comments about life under totalitarianism past a censor who was more exercised about the film's brief flashes of nudity. Most of the actors were non-professionals (including Forman's former sister-in-law Hana BrejchovŠ as Andula), who give uncannily convincing performances. The standout is Milada JeěkovŠ as Milda's mother, whose set-piece monologue about the bitter disappointments of middle age graphically highlights the bleak future that factory girls like Andula and her colleagues have to look forward to even if they find a husband.
Michael Brooke on 27th September 2010
Author of 154 reviews
Milos Formanís 1965 feature (Oscar-nominated as Best Foreign Language Film that year) is a bitter comic tale of a young Czech girl who falls in love with a musician after a one-night stand and follows him to Prague where she moves in with him and his disapproving parents, throwing all of their lives into chaos.
A wry comedy that evolves from an implicit critique of government policy, corruption and ineptitude, A Blonde in Love is a tender and beautifully observed story about the impossible odds of young romance in Communist Czechoslovakia.
It is also important as one of the first works of a world-renowned director, showing the beginnings of the style and preoccupations prominent in many of Forman's subsequently acclaimed films, such as Firemanís Ball, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ragtime, The People vs Larry Flint and Amadeus.
Publisher: Second Run
Length: 80 mins
Format: DVD B&W
Released: 24th January 2011
Cat No: SECONDRUN054
- Digitally remastered with newly restored picture and sound
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- Booklet featuring a new appreciation by writer and film historian Michael Brooke.
by Barry Forshaw on 16th February 2010
Second Run DVD has long put lovers of the best in world cinema in its debt by making available some of the most celebrated art films from past decades, but few titles ... Read on
Second Run DVD has long put lovers of the best in world cinema in its debt by making available some of the most celebrated art films from past decades, but few titles are is likely to give such unalloyed pleasure as this much-loved early film by Milos Forman, made in his native Czechoslovakia before he achieved Hollywood success with such films as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus. With affectionate humour and sharp observation, Forman tells the story of a shy factory girl whose romantic ideals are strained, living as she does in a small town bereft of men. A visiting pianist takes her fancy, but when she follows him to Prague, she finds that there is a major problem -- his parents. After the success of the director's first film, Peter and Pavla, this is another example of the director's unerring eye for the quirkier byways of human nature. Hide