DVD: A Blonde in Love | Film reviews, news & interviews
DVD: A Blonde in Love
Miloš Forman’s Czech New Wave classic comes up fresh in a welcome reissue
Miloš Forman’s second feature, from 1965, catches the absurd atmosphere of the director’s native Czechoslovakia with both quiet desperation and raw tenderness. Heroine Andula (Hana Brejchová) works in a shoe factory in a town where women outnumber men by 16 times – until it is announced that an army division is to be relocated there, to the excitement of the local girls. But it turns out they are reservists and considerably older and plumper than expected. Forman excels himself in the dance-party sequence which shows the clumsiness and vulnerability of both the would-be seducers and their targets.
The comedy quickly changes mood as Andula catches the eye of band pianist Milda (Vladimir Pucholt) and vanishes with him (their nude scenes were seen as forward for the time). They may have been just strangers passing in the night, but it’s enough to break up Andula’s relationship with her boyfriend, and even send her off on an uneasy final trip to Prague to track down Milda, which sees her caught up in his family environment far more than she could have expected.
Forman cast non-professional actors in most roles, and the result has a remarkable naturalness, while cinematographer Miroslav Ondříček’s work has an immaculate black-and-white crispness that looks absolutely fresh in this restored print. The tender humanism of Forman’s story, and affection for his characters who seem not to have much going for them, unsurprisingly caught the attention of emerging British director Ken Loach, who has regularly cited A Blonde in Love as his favourite film.
Watch a clip from A Blonde in Love
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
Teen horror with a kind but chilling heart
Boundary-pushing documentaries were among strong offerings in the festival's closing days
Woody Allen haunts Peter Bogdanovich's putative comeback
Swedish depiction of the collapse of male character will make you squirm
Edinburgh puts other festivals in the shade with an amazing array of female filmmakers
British cycling captured on film, from 1899 to 1983
Vienna, the zither, a twist of Lime: Carol Reed's newly restored noir masterpiece returns
Weak documentary about a transcontinental rail journey freighted with art 'happenings'
Masterful McKellen captures the great detective in his twilight years
Gael García Bernal is the stranger saving farmers from bandits in this jungle western
Breezy fantasia of Hollywood success will please existing fans of the HBO series but not win converts
Barbara Stanwyck cracks her whip in Sam Fuller's Tombstone power-struggle rethink