The Firemen’s Ball: Get to Know Miloš Forman’s finest Czechoslovak Work

“Some like it Czech” project is thrilled to finally introduce to the international audience the iconic movie The Firemen’s Ball, directed by a genius of cinema – Miloš Forman.

“We decided to open Forman’s archive with a comical satire which will reveal a lot about the nature of Czech people. So, on the 15th of March, we will show you everything you wanted to know about Czechs but were afraid to ask,” add the founders of the project.

Made in 1967, The Firemen’s Ball is the third feature film by Miloš Forman, one of the leading representatives of the so-called New Wave of Czechoslovak cinema. He is also known for his work on other notable films such as “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” with Jack Nicholson and “Amadeus.”

The film was made in a Czechoslovak-Italian co-production with the participation of the famous Italian producer Carlo Ponti. Yes, the same one who worked with stars like Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni on some of the most Italian classics. So any fellow Italians who wish to attend… Sì?

The plot of The Firemen’s Ball (watch the trailer) revolves around a group of volunteer firefighters. The film takes place at the annual ball organized by the firefighters, which serves as a fundraiser for their organization. The firefighters have planned an evening of entertainment and games, but the festivities quickly turn chaotic as the attendees begin to act selfishly and indulge in their own desires.

The party becomes a disaster as one mishap leads to another, culminating in the loss of the night’s proceeds. This movie is a satirical comedy that critiques the flaws of the communist government in Czechoslovakia. The movie uses humor to explore themes such as corruption, selfishness and the incompetence of officials. The film also featured non-actors, among others, in order to show more authenticity of the performances.

The French New Wave pales in comparison to the Czechoslovak one, which is truly exceptional. The Czechoslovak New Wave era of cinema emerged in the 1960s, renowned for its innovative and groundbreaking films that challenged the conventions of Czechoslovak cinema.

Some of the most highly regarded movies from this era are Oscar-winning pieces such as Closely Watched Trains (Ostře sledované vlaky, 1966) or The Shop on Main Street (Obchod na korze, 1965). Another New Wave classic, The Firemen’s Ball earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

The communist regime was caught off guard by the global success of this film, and their response was drastic – they banished the movie to a vault, where it remained unseen for many years. This wasn’t an uncommon practice in a country that suffered under a poor regime for decades. Forman had an ultimate response to such treatment in his native country – he emigrated to the USA.

Some Like It Czech aims to introduce Czech culture to expats living in Prague. Before each screening, these events are accompanied by a quick and smart introduction. This time,  Kristýna Haklová, a cinephile by heart and a woman of action who can talk for hours about Czech cinema, will do the talking. Besides the movie with English subtitles, there will be a lavish raffle in a true firemen’s ball fashion. Thanks to the Some like it Czech project and its screening events, you can now show your party flex with your new gain information about Czech culture!

So, don’t hesitate, to buy your tickets and don’t forget to bring your fire extinguisher, because honey, this event will be on fire!

If you want to know more about the event and the project itself, follow Some like it Czech on Instagram (@some_like_it_czech) or Facebook (@Somelikeitczech).

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