Since last Friday, a small square in the centre of Prague is named after world-famous Czech director Milos Forman, who died last April at the age of 86. The square, that didn’t have a name until now, is located in Prague’s first district, along the Pařížská street and right next to the Intercontinental hotel overlooking the Vltava river.
Prague mayor Adriana Krnáčová highlighted that it was important to give Milos Forman a square at “the epicenter” of the city and suggested a statue might also be built to pay homage to the director. She also said that she hoped this would prevent any future construction on the square.
This location has been the subject of many discussions in the past, with experts and city officials debating whether construction should be allowed. Some experts strongly oppose the measure, arguing that Prague’s old centre had very few free spaces and that it was important to safeguard them.
Born in Čáslav, Czechoslovakia, in 1932, Milos Forman is probably the most influential Czech directors of the 20th century. A student of the Prague Film Academy (FAMU), he was one of the most prominent figures of the Czech New Wave in the 1960’s, directing movies such as Black Peter (1964), Loves of a Blonde (1965) and The Firemen’s Ball (1967). After the crushing of the Prague spring in 1968, he fled the country and emigrated to the United States. He became a U.S. citizen in 1975.
There, he pursued his incredibly prolific career, shooting Taking Off (1971) and reached worldwide fame with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and Amadeus (1984) – incidentally shot in Prague – two movies for which he won the Best Director and Best Picture Academy Awards. Other notable films from his American career include Hair (1979), Valmont (1989), The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) and Man on the Moon (1999). At the time of his death, he was one of the only three directors alive who have won two Academy Awards for Best Picture, alongside Francis Ford Coppola and Clint Eastwood.