It might not be everyone’s idea of the perfect Valentine’s Day date movie, but don’t let that deter you from seeing Milos Forman’s bittersweet Czech New Wave classic, “Loves of a Blonde,” a gentle but probing look at relationships that’s as far from those typically sappy Hollywood chick-flick romances as it’s possible to be.
In a small Czech town where the ratio of women to men is 16 to 1, young factory worker Andula (the delightful Hana Brejchová, sister of Forman’s then-wife, Jana Brejchová) is desperate to find a man. First, she and her friends flirt with a trio of middle-aged reservists at a party, then Andula falls for a young piano player, whom she goes to bed with. However, when a smitten Andula arrives at his parents’ home to continue their relationship, she discovers that true love is far more complicated than she thought.
Forman’s breakthrough film — it was nominated for the 1966 Best Foreign Film Oscar — “Loves of a Blonde” explores first love with a frankness rarely seen onscreen, eschewing the sentimentality that later crept into even his better American films, with the notable exception of that underrated, bitingly satiric gem “The People vs. Larry Flynt.”
“Loves of a Blonde” plays at BAMcinematek in conjunction with a complete retrospective of Forman’s films at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan Feb. 14-28, which includes his two Oscar-winning films for Best Picture and Best Director, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus,” along with early, pre-“Blonde” features from Forman’s native Czechoslovakia, “Audition” and “Black Peter.”
BAMCinematek presents “Loves of a Blonde” Feb. 15-21 at the BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave. at Ashland Place in Fort Greene. Tickets are $11; seniors, students and children are $7.50. For more information, call (718) 636-4100 or visit www.bam.org. For information on the Museum of Modern Art retrospective, visit www.moma.org.