U.S, 1971, 93 min, 35mm, Dir. Miloš Forman, Rated R, Park Circus


Taking Off

Friday, 8/19 at 11:45 pm

"It remains Milos Forman's best film in and about America." – Vadim Rizov, Village Voice

Czech director Milos Forman established his reputation in Film with a pair of bracing comedies, Loves Of A Blonde (1965) and Firemen's Ball (1967) that featured characters and situations taken from everyday life and that reflected, with poker-face and tongue-in-cheek, the jaundiced reality of their place of origin. When the Prague Spring is shattered by the Soviets in 1968, the New Wave came to an end and Forman left for America where he thrived making high-profile Hollywood blockbusters like One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Ragtime and Amadeus. Lost in the shuffle is Forman's American debut, a lustrous indie gem, Taking Off, produced by Michael Hausman for a paltry $800K. In it, we find the same acute social observation that made Forman's initial comedies landmarks of world cinema. Buck Henry and Lynn Carlin are distraught parents of runaway teenager Linnea Heacock who join SPFC, the Society for Parents of Fugitive Children, in order to cope with their situation. Among the movie's many joys are rubber-faced Paul Benedict and ditzy blonde Georgia Engel as natural born swingers. Unknown Carly Simon and Kathy Bates appear in a record label audition. Forman regular Vincent Schiavelli coaches elders on the art of smoking marijuana … .It's all brought into sharp focus by Forman's inseparable director of photography, Miroslav Ondricek, who passed away last year. Unavailable in home video, Taking Off is an essential film from the 70s, America's great movie decade. And not to be missed.


F for Friday is a globe-trotting series that spans decades with cutting-edge game-changing films, screened in their original format or digital restoration. Tickets are $7.00 and include a free popcorn and 2-for-1 beer and wine.

Check out the rest of our F For Friday program!