Life as It Is - Miloš Forman on Miloš Forman
Immediately after news broke of Miloš Forman’s death, film historian Robert Fischer started to montage a feature-length film from the material of an unpublished interview conducted in New York in 2000. Fischer’s encounter with Forman, whose artistic biography is deeply marked by the turmoils of the 20th century, was a stroke of luck. His film shows that Forman is both a gifted storyteller and a keen-witted contemporary witness; he remembers his parents who were murdered in the Holocaust, his film studies in Communist Czechoslovakia, and his emigration following the crushing of the Prague Spring. Forman is free from vanity and sentimentality. Instead, he appears as a charismatic artist full of enthusiasm for his topics, films, actresses, and actors.
Fischer uses extracts from the movies sparingly but effectively to aan artist who was guided by the idea of freedom and the much-quoted values that are shared by Europe and the United States but often sound so hollow these days.
Robert Fischer (born in 1954), started writing about film in the mid 1970s and, with his books on Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino, Jodie Foster, Bernhard Wicki, Jean-Pierre Melville, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Robert Bresson, André Bazin and François Truf-faut, soon became one of Germany’s foremost film historians. For his translations of Truffaut’s complete writings into German, he was named Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the French Cultural Minister Jack Lang. Together with Joe Hembus, he wrote a history of the New German Cinema. After a five-year stint as Vice Director at the Munich Film Museum, where he was involved in the reconstruction of Orson Welles’s unfinished films, he switched to filmmaking in 1999. His documentary MONSIEUR TRUFFAUT MEETS MR. HITCHCOCK was screened at the Cinemathèque Française in Paris, at New York’s Film Forum and at the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles. In 2000, his documentary MILOS FORMAN: FILM IS TRUTH opened the Forman retrospective at the Munich Film Festival. FASSBINDER IN HOLLYWOOD (2002) and ERNST LUBITSCH IN BERLIN (2006) have both been screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Fischer was a programmer for the Munich Film Festival for 25 years and works as a consulting producer for amongst others The Criterion Collection. In December 2016, he was named Officer in the National Order of Merit for his achievements in French culture.