David Thomson, frequently described as "the greatest living film critic and historian," returns to the Kansas City Public Library to launch the screening of a two-month series of films by the great Czech-American director Milos Forman, who turned 80 this year.
Thomson speaks on Milos Forman: Finding a Nest and introduces the Oscar-winning Forman film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, a 1975 adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel about a fun-loving miscreant who rallies the patients of a mental institution. The film won Oscars for Foreman as well as for actor (Jack Nicholson), actress (Louise Fletcher), picture, and screenplay. The program takes place on Monday, September 10, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
The series, called Mondays with Milos, is co-sponsored by the Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic, the Honorary Consul of the Slovak Republic, and the Czech and Slovak Club of Greater Kansas City. Additional funding has been provided by the Missouri Humanities Council.
Forman was born in Czechoslovakia, orphaned during World War II, and educated in a Communist film school. Fleeing his homeland after the Soviet crushing of the reformist "Prague Spring" in 1968, he came to the United States to continue his moviemaking career.
Not only did Forman survive in America, he excelled, winning two Academy Awards for best director and turning out motion pictures that showed a deep understanding of his adopted country.
Thomson, born in Great Britain and now a resident of Los Angeles, is the author of more than 20 books, among them Have You Seen...? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films, the New Biographical Dictionary of Film, The Moment of Psycho, The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood, and individual books on Bette Davis, Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Nicole Kidman, Warren Beatty, Marlon Brando, Orson Welles, and David O. Selznick. He has taught film studies at Dartmouth College and been a regular contributor to The New York Times, Film Comment, Movieline, The New Republic, and Salon. His previous appearance at the Kansas City Public Library took place in August 2010 when he spoke about Alfred Hitchcock.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event.RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407.
Following the Plaza branch screening of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Mondays with Milos, continues on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. throughout September and October in the Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. with the following titles:
September 17 Ragtime (1981)
Forman's adaptation of E.L. Doctorow's novel offers a mix of fictional and historic characters colliding in turn-of-the-century New York. With James Cagney, Mandy Patinkin, Howard E. Rollins, Jr . Rating: PG. 155 minutes.
September 24 Hair (1978)
Broadway's "American tribal love rock musical" about hippies hit the screen with a cast led by Treat Williams and Beverly D'Angelo. Rating: PG. 121 minutes.
October 1 Amadeus (1984)
Peter Shaffer's stage smash about young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the envious composer Salieri became a stupendously popular film in Forman's hands, winning an Oscar for actor F. Murray Abraham and a second directing statuette for Forman. Rating: PG. 160 minutes.
October 8 The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
Smut peddler Larry Flynt (Woody Harrelson) takes on the Supreme Court ... and becomes a First Amendment hero? Well, yes, at least in Forman's Oscar-nominated drama. Rating: R. 129 minutes.
October 15 Loves of a Blonde(1965)
Made three years before he left Czechoslovakia, this gentle drama follows a small-town factory girl who has an affair with a visiting musician and then follows him back to Prague, hoping to keep the relationship alive. Not rated. 90 minutes.
October 22 Man on the Moon (1999)
Jim Carrey plays unconventional comic genius Andy Kaufman in this biopic that won Forman best director honors at the Berlin International Film Festival. Rating: R. 118 minutes.
October 29 Goya's Ghosts (2006: R)
The great Spanish painter Goya (Stellan Skarsgard) paints a portrait of a priest of the Inquisition (Javier Bardem) while fending off accusations of heresy and protecting one of his models (Natalie Portman), who is suspected of being Jewish. Rating: R. 113 minutes.
Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.