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The Firemen's Ball.

Photo of Eric Kohn By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn December 12, 2008 at 1:58AM

The Firemen's Ball.


Milos Forman's movies blend existential irony with black comedy in a shrewd, playful manner I haven't seen anywhere else. Even now, in the later stages of his career, Forman has continued to make intriguing, ambitious projects that — while not always successful — at least continue to illustrate his distinct marriage of intellectual and entertaining perspectives that he brings to the stories he tells and the ways in which he tells them. I wrote about the Museum of Modern Art's Forman retrospective earlier this year in New York Press; now, with a fresh print of The Firemen's Ball screening at BAM, I've singled out that wonderful 1967 comedy for the individual treatment. The movie truly holds up in every regard. It could happen tomorrow or tonight, and would lose none of its remarkable punchiness.