Top 47 Milos Forman Quotes

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“Memories are doing funny things to us.”

― Milos Forman

“I get out of the taxi and it’s probably the only city which in reality looks better than on the postcards, New York.”

― Milos Forman

“You think you can do anything, and then you slowly learn how wrong you are.”

― Milos Forman

“I worked with Jack Nitzsche for ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ and we’d booked a symphony orchestra. He dismissed them and came with a little man who poured water into glasses of different sizes to make a glass harmonica. And most of the music for the film was that – with some Indian flutes and some drums.”

― Milos Forman

“If it weren’t for ‘Cuckoo’s Nest,’ it would be very difficult for me. It gave me a cushion to live at my artistic pace and not fear I wouldn’t have money to live on.”

― Milos Forman

“The worst evil is – and that’s the product of censorship – is the self-censorship, because that twists spines, that destroys my character because I have to think something else and say something else, I have to always control myself.”

― Milos Forman

“Well, I wouldn’t say that this experience had any influence on my decision to do this film about Andy, because Andy was apolitical. Andy was never political.”

― Milos Forman

“When you make a film, you realize that the audience will be powerless to stop it or flip back to refresh their memories or skip the boring parts. They are at the mercy of your storytelling.”

― Milos Forman

“Because if you lived, as I did, several years under Nazi totalitarianism, and then 20 years in communist totalitarianism, you would certainly realize how precious freedom is, and how easy it is to lose your freedom.”

― Milos Forman

“First of all, to defend my work, I had to believe that I am doing a totally silly, stupid, innocent comedy.”

― Milos Forman

“I can say, with a little arrogance, that I could be an actor, a cameraman, a writer, but composers are the most mysterious people.”

― Milos Forman

“And also they were absolutely brilliant in one way, you know: they knew how effective is not to punish somebody who is guilty; what Communist Party members could afford to do was mind-boggling: they could do practically anything they wanted – steal, you know, lie, whatever.”

― Milos Forman

“And everything is controlled and everybody is a member of some committee, because then their watchdogs placed in the committees can control everything, what this person says or how this person think(s), you know.”

― Milos Forman

“Because I just loved to spend two years of my life in the company of Andy Kaufman and other characters.”

― Milos Forman

“First of all, whoever didn’t want to be a member of this association or the other association, was branded, you know, like a dangerous individualist, you know, infected by the Western decadence, you know. So everybody joined.”

― Milos Forman

“Humor was not important only for me, humor was important for this nation for centuries, to survive, you know.”

― Milos Forman

“I remember in 1968 when we were in Cannes, in the festival, and we were supposed to be there 10 days, and the second day the festival collapsed because the French, you know, film-makers raised the red flag in the festival and ended the festival.”

― Milos Forman

“I tell you, in my opinion, the cornerstone of democracy is free press – that’s the cornerstone.”

― Milos Forman

“I think everybody dreamt somehow to make a film in Hollywood, you know.”

― Milos Forman

“Now, after the communist take-over in 1948, the amount of feature films produced dwindled to three a year, while the school was, you know, every year another three, four, five students.”

― Milos Forman

“People must not think that all bad in man which is unleashed, the moment you impose censorship disappears from man.”

― Milos Forman

“So I left with Jean Claude and went to Paris, so when the Russians came to Prague, I was in Paris.”

― Milos Forman

“So, thanks God, our films, our first films were suddenly being appreciated by the Western media; especially France was very good, and Switzerland was very good.”

― Milos Forman

“Well, listen, you know, the Czech saying is, you know, when you are drowning you are grabbing even a little twig. That’s what all Czechs were doing, grabbing for… with the hope for this little twig.”

― Milos Forman

“When I came for the first time to the United States, visiting, I was absolutely fascinated by New York.”

― Milos Forman

“You know what happened, you know, in 1938: France, England, you know, just sold out Czechoslovakia to Hitler.”

― Milos Forman

“You know, 20 years… the films of television when it started, the literature, radio in communist countries, they’re clean as a whistle; there was no violence, no sex, no drugs, nothing.”

― Milos Forman

“Technically, you can learn everything on the set as an assistant director, and rather quickly.”

― Milos Forman

“When I entered the film school at the Prague Academy in the ’50s, it was the hardest time in the Communist countries. The ideological control of the society was almost absolute.”

― Milos Forman

“Milan Kundera was my literature professor. He’s a Francophile, so he made us read French novels like ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses,’ which I made a version of many years later as ‘Valmont.’”

― Milos Forman

“Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated by show business, the theater.”

― Milos Forman

“I was born in a small town. My parents, my father was a teacher. My mother was a housewife.”

― Milos Forman

“Communists love to make films about composers because composers compose music and don’t talk subversive things.”

― Milos Forman

“Individuals fighting or rebelling against the status quo, the establishment, is good for drama.”

― Milos Forman

“It’s not a lighthearted decision to change your language, your country, your citizenship, and come to a world where you don’t know anybody, to leave a place where you’ve had opportunities to build friendships from childhood. That’s quite a big decision to make.”

― Milos Forman

“Definitely, it would be foolish to try and make my Czech films here in America, as foolish as it is when some Czech filmmakers try to make movies of America in Czechoslovakia.”

― Milos Forman

“Mediocrity never goes away – but neither, I hope, do those who are willing to challenge it.”

― Milos Forman

“You either have commercial pressure or ideological pressure. I prefer commercial pressure; otherwise, you can be at the mercy of one or two idiots.”

― Milos Forman

“Holocaust films will be made and should be made as long as we can’t understand what makes people so cruel to each other.”

― Milos Forman

“I think if I tried very hard, I could do a novel or a play, a poem. I could possibly paint a picture, but I know I can’t write music. And still, it is the most accessible of all arts, as you know when you hear a tune.”

― Milos Forman

“I don’t think I was ever as fascinated or have had so much respect for anybody like James Cagney.”

― Milos Forman

“We have funny ideas about how people in mental institutions act. We think of drooling and people going booga-booga and climbing the wall. These are exceptional cases.”

― Milos Forman

“In Czechoslovakia, we consider Kafka a very funny man. A humorist.”

― Milos Forman

“A modern hero is very ambiguous. I went through some very rough times in Czechoslovakia – the occupation by the Germans at the end of the war. We had people going against their tanks with brooms. Are they nuts, or are they heroes?”

― Milos Forman

“I don’t mind getting involved in a risky project as long as I don’t have to stay married to it if the script turns out lousy.”

― Milos Forman

“The way one perceives a book and a film are totally different. You read a book in the privacy of your room. You are the boss; you set the pace and rhythm of your reading. In the movie house, you can’t do that.”

― Milos Forman

“I am absolutely against any violence.”

― Milos Forman
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