(18 February 1932 to 13 April 2018)
An exemplar of Eastern European new wave, he got out of his native Czechoslovakia just before the Soviets brought Winter into the Prague Spring. He’ll be remembered in particular for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Hair (1979), Amadeus (1984)* (filmed in Prague, under the wary eyes of Comintern flunkies), The People vs Larry Flint (1996) and Man on the Moon (1999).[* We shouldn’t forget that his film, and Schaffer’s play on which it is based, is pretty harsh and unfair on Antonio Salieri.]
A number of his projects never got off the ground (as if that’s the way to treat one of the more intelligent film directors).