Genre: Musical / Documentary
Director: Milos Forman
Duration: 79 min.
The first work of renowned director Milos Forman, consisting of two short films which observe amateur musicians and singers rehearsing and auditioning.
Audition/Talent Competition the first work of Czech New Wave director Milos Forman are two short pieces released together as one film. They combine a mix of documentary footage of various musicians and singers performing, rehearsing, and auditioning with brief scripted dramatic moments.
A minor work, but it could be argued that Milos Forman invented two movements with this interesting film. It shows the advent of the loose narrative realistic style that would become one of the main characteristics of the Czechoslovak New Wave. It also very much reminded me of the dozens of semi-scripted reality TV talent contest shows that are ever so popular these days.
The first segment looks at two rival orchestras rehearsing for a concert spliced in with scenes of motorcycle races. The loose narrative follows two separate youths each a member of a different band who struggle between their passions for music and racing. I loved the contrasting shots of the dedicated musicians practicing indoors, with the liberating outdoor scenes of motorcycles racing on the track, their revving engines performing a music of their own.
The second and longer part of the film follows an assortment of teenage singers who audition their talents in front of judges. Some good and some not so good, Forman uses great editing to show us the wide range of hopefuls chasing after their dreams. Here we also get some invented drama, as the camera follows one girl (Marketa Krotka) who lies to her employer for an excuse to attend the audition; and another aspiring singer played by Vera Kresadlová (Forman's soon to be wife), whose beauty outweighs her singing ability. It's a fun piece with many examples of 60's Czechoslovakian pop music heavily influenced by early Rock-n-roll.
Overall it's an important bit of cinema that shows the origins of Forman's later style, and also provides an interesting and lively time capsule look at the era's youth culture, but it doesn't really offer anything beyond those historical interests.
— Bonjour Tristesse