Archive of films Hair / Hair
1979, 121 min
Section: Tribute to Miroslav Ondříček
Miloš Forman adapted the famous American musical which, in view of its committed political stance, exceeded the confines of the genre; above all, it was a feast for the hippy movement and the free-thinking world.
Hair attracted Miloš Forman not only because it offered the possibility of including dance numbers and modern music with provocative lyrics, but mainly because it reached beyond the usual limits of the musical genre. At the time of its creation Hair was a work of sharp political and social criticism, condemning the war in Vietnam and bourgeois indifference to this tragedy. But it was also a romantic work – worshipping hippies and their varied forms of rebellion against excessive conservatism. Forman had no trouble relating to these purely American topics since their underlying themes were the same as those of his Czech films: the generation gap, youth’s pure though naïve desire for love and freedom, and the protest against conventions and prejudices which destroy these illusions. As cameraman, Miroslav Ondříček was challenged to shoot a far more diverse and temperamental cross-section of the younger generation than he had known at home, and he took advantage of it to the fullest. He records them almost constantly in action, in dynamic motion, noting not only the language of their faces but of their entire bodies. Young men and women in his interpretation are unrestrained and wild, engaging for their spontaneity. It is certainly thanks to him as well that this film is a contagious celebration of the vitality and joy of being alive.
About the director
Miloš Forman (b. 1932, Čáslav, Czechoslovakia) graduated in screenwriting and directing from Prague’s Film Academy (FAMU) in 1955, and during the sixties he was one of the foremost filmmakers of the Czechoslovak new wave. His films reveal a sense of ironic humour for the weaknesses and tribulations of ordinary people: Audition (1963), Black Peter (1963), Loves of a Blonde (1965) and The Fireman’s Ball (1967). Since the end of the sixties he has worked in the USA. There he has furthered his earlier thematic aims and earned international acclaim for films highlighting the conflict between misfits and the social structure: Taking Off (1971), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975, five Oscars), Hair (1979), Ragtime (1981), Amadeus (1984, eight Oscars), Valmont (1989), The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996, Golden Bear at Berlin), and Man on the Moon (1999). For his entire body of work he has received numerous honours, including the Czech State Medal of Merit, first grade (1995), a Czech Lion (1997), the Lifetime Achievement Award at Karlovy Vary (1997) and France’s Knight of the Legion of Honour (2004).
About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Section:||Tribute to Miroslav Ondříček|
|Screenplay:||Michael Weller podle muzikálu / based on a musical by Gerome Ragni and James Rado|
|Dir. of Photography:||Miroslav Ondříček|
|Editor:||Stanley Warnow, Alan Heim|
|Producer:||Michael Butler, Lester Persky|
|Production:||CIP Filmproduction GmbH|
|Cast:||Treat Williams, John Savage, Beverly D’ Angelo, Annie Golden, Don Dacus, Dorsey Wright, Cheryl Barnes, Miles Chapin, Nicholas Ray|
|Contact:||National Film Archive|
Film Institution Rep.