The Firemen’s Ball (1967)

Miloš Forman directs Jan Vostrčil, Josef Šebánek and Josef Valnoha in the Czechoslovakian satire where the annual piss-up goes awry when the committee members get distracted from the tombola and award ceremony by a beauty contest and a fire.

Recalling Dad’s Army as much as any satire. A silly damnation of leaving the old guard (and the patriarchy) alone to organise anything. It can feel a little one note and drawn out at times yet always finds a apocalyptic crescendo eventually. You can see why Forman was tapped on the shoulder by Hollywood to direct One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest after this. The marshalling of an unglamorous flock of faces and the mundanity of madness… well, he has commendable form.


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