With sixteen women to each man, the odds are against Andula in her desperate search for love-that is, until a rakish piano player visits her small factory town and temporarily eases her longings. A tender and humorous look... more » at Andula's journey, from the first pangs of romance to its inevitable disappointments, Loves of a Blonde (Lásky jedné plavovlásky) immediately became a classic of the Czech New Wave and earned Milos Forman the first of his Academy Award® nominations.« less
"This Criterion edition includes an interveiw with Forman that sheds a lot of light on how this film was constructed. The use of long singles, especially when the pianist's mother and father are in dialogue, was undoubtedly influenced by budget constraints, but Forman makes an aesthetic choice to linger on the mother while she wears down all around her with her world-weary nagging. The effect is that you get to share what the husband, son and protagonist are going through; "Get me away from this woman, please!" The expressions on the faces of both the professionals and amateurs in the cast tell the story not only of drudgery under an oppressive political regime, but the hopes and despairs that people suffer in the kind of fraught romantic episodes the story is woven around. Andula's story is not quite compelling enough to justify the price tag on this DVD - there is a whole episode involving a missing ring and an enraged suitor that pops up and disappears without much relevance. Modern cinema-goers expect more meat to a story, I think. However, budding filmmakers will learn a lot about pacing, reaction from actors, not moving the camera, and the difference between directing professional and non-professional actors (in the Extras interview)."
Irresistable blend of attitude and style and content
Doug Anderson | Miami Beach, Florida United States | 01/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The premise of the story is funny-- a village full of women factory workers who live crammed together in dorms needs men so the factory owner charmingly pleads with the military to send an attachment of men to the town to give his girls something to do with their evenings but when the men show up they are all middle aged, the young girls are disappointed. What is even funnier is Formans attitude and style which borrows some tricks in cutting and impromptu time shifts from the French New Wave directors but adds to this famous style a lucid charm that is irresistable. The cutting techniques innovated by the French New Wave directors emphasized the looseness and spontaneity of life but Formans sense of humor is such that he cannot help parodying the techniques he is emulating. For instance in the dance hall sequence the camera slowly pans the feet of the band members which makes for an absurdly enjoyable incidental. French New Wave in technique but the humor is charmingly Czech in tone. The storyline makes some poignant observations about the new social mores of the 1960's--a married soldier trying to meet girls drops his wedding ring and proceeds to watch it roll across the dance floor where it falls to rest beneath a table of single girls. The title character dreams of a young man to take her away from her grim life as factory worker living in a dorm full of girls but since the men she meets do not take her away she decides to take matters into her own hands and follows one to his hometown. But arriving there she is greeted only with more grim reality. She returns home to her factory job and dorm and finds solace in make-believe as she tells her girlfriends a version of the events which conforms to her dreams. Very touching, wise, and satisfying film from a filmmaker who exhibits a fondness for all his characters. No one escapes Formans lighthearted satire nor his empathy which embraces all forms of life, young and old. Remarkably light and poignant at the same time. Czech and Polish films of this period strike an irresistable chord and are some of the most irresistable films ever made. Also recommended: Closely Watched Trains."
Classic Czech film about young love
Bomojaz | South Central PA, USA | 11/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A comedy of sorts about first love, though ultimately a sad movie, too, as befitting the subject. A factory town outside of Prague has a mismatch of 16 girls for every boy, so a group of army recruits are sent to liven things up. Only they're a wash-out, and the scene with the girls trying to get out of having to go with these duds and vice-versa is pretty funny.
At a dance, Andula (Hana Brejchova) falls for the piano player Milda (Vladimir Pucholt) and spends the night with him. He is just interested in a one-night stand and uses all the come-on lines he can think of to get her to spend the night with him, including his wish for her to come visit him in Prague and meet his parents. Andula naively falls for all this and goes to his house in Prague, where Milda's parents bully her for being there (they bully Milda, too). He does nothing to defend her and she leaves - but tells all her friends back home what a great time she had.
The movie is very comical in spots and very honest, but Andula is so naive and used, and so accepting of the abuse dished out to her, that we feel sad watching her and pity her greatly. It's this mixture of humor and pity that makes the movie so remarkable. We also pity Czechoslovakia, which appears utterly depressing a place as depicted here. An excellent movie, the one that made Milos Forman a highly respected director."
Silly title--great film
David Bonesteel | Fresno, CA United States | 08/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Andula (Hana Brejchova) is a young factory worker who lives in a dorm with other young women in the dreary town of Zruc during Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. Life is empty and unfulfilling, and boys are scarce. Andula, a girl with a sad past of her own that is only hinted at, seeks escape from hopelessness in love.
Lest the above description seem too depressing, let me add that this film is often very funny, particularly in a scene where a trio of middle-aged reservists approach Andula and her friends at a social mixer. Director Milos Forman states in an interview that part of his motivation for making films was in reaction against the absurd socialist realism school of the time, which depicted socialist societies as paradises on earth. In this seemingly slight film about a young girl's romance, he shows much of the unhappiness and hopelessness of such a society while also presenting his characters with great warmth and affection. The actors in this film are wonderful and natural, with great faces. Forman observes human behavior very closely and emerges with a story about people with whom everyone can empathize, delivering once again the valuable lesson of any great film--no matter where or when we were born, we are more like each other than unlike./ "