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Miloš Forman: On Politics, Art & ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,’ 1976

Miloš Forman discusses One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Denis Tuohy from 1976, where the multi-award winning director explains his views on Politics, Art and Film-making.

Tuohy appears not to be aware that One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was based on the novel by Ken Kesey, instead, he digs for some personal, East-West political subtext that relates to Forman’s past life in Czechoslovakia. (Though it’s not mentioned here, Forman’s parents died in Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War—his mother in Auschwitz in 1943, his father in Buchenwald, 1944; while after the war, Forman lived under the country’s brutal Communist rule.)

Was the film a metaphor about society? asks Tuohy. To which Forman replies, it was more ‘a metaphor for any kind of modern society today,’ as it revealed ‘how far has the power the right to crush an individual who is questioning the rules.’

‘The power has Politics on its side. Let the Art be on the side of individual.

Forman, who had left Czechoslovakia in 1968 to make films in Hollywood, describes himself as ‘apolitical’ and believes there is a division between Art and Politics.

‘I like to tell the stories of the society I live in. I don’t have an ambition to give advice, of how the society will be transformed or changed—probably because I have seen so many disappointments.

‘I am apolitical person. For somebody that is trying to make so-called Art that is political—is crippling. Because Art is always, should be objective, should be trying the best of being objective. Once you adopt a political doctrine that, well, you can call Art, but it is propaganda type of Art.’


With thanks to NellyM

Posted by Paul Gallagher
08:45 pm
Kate Bush: Probably her first ever TV interview from 1978

This is probably Kate Bush’s first TV interview from March 16th, 1978, when her debut single “Wuthering Heights” hit the top of the UK charts. Interviewed by Denis Tuohy, on the BBC’s Tonight show (fore-runner of Newsnight), who starts off by describing her song as ‘strange, lovely and fascinating’ before asking what was Kate’s attraction to Emily Brontë‘s novel Wuthering Heights, and the character Catherine Earnshaw?

In a sweet, child-like voice, teenager Kate explains it wasn’t so much the book rather the last 5 minutes of a TV series, based on the novel, which she saw as a child that had Cathy at a window wanting to get in. The image stuck, and Kate thought it ‘perfect material for a song.’

Kate started writing songs when she was around 11 or 12. She wrote in secret, and was unable to perform her songs in front of anyone, believing that if she did sing in front of others, then she had to give her best performance - which was something Kate felt she hadn’t quite mastered.

It was through a friend of her brother that tapes of her singing were passed onto executives in the recording industry, eventually reaching Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, who was wanting to help ‘struggling artists’. Gilmour put up the money to pay for a demo of selected songs, which secured Kate a record deal. She was 16-years-of-age.

Over the next 2 years, Kate took time to write new material and worked towards creating a stage persona. When asked by Tuohy what inspired her song-writing, Kate replied:

‘It is very often from other people. I mean people are just so full of poetry, they say it all the time. There are the most amazing phrases that people come up with that aren’t covered, and you can really draw from people’s minds.’


Previously on Dangerous Minds

Kate Bush: ‘Wuthering Heights’ slowed down to a gorgeous 36-minute symphony

Endearing photographs of Kate Bush as a child

Documentary on Kate Bush’s first only UK tour 1979

With thanks to NellyM

Posted by Paul Gallagher
04:32 pm