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Elmar Klos

Elmar Klos

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Also Known As: Died: July 19, 1993
Born: January 26, 1910 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: studio administrator, director, educator, screenwriter, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Began in documentary shorts and played a key administrative role in aiding the recovery and nationalization of Czech cinema after WWII. Klos met longtime collaborator Jan Kadar after the war at the Barrandov film studios and the two made their first film together, "Unos/The Hijacking," in 1952. Klos and Kadar, who generally wrote their films together but whose on-the-set responsibilities veered more toward administration and direction, respectively, would work together for almost two decades on eight films generally noted for their smooth craftsmanship, solid storytelling and impassioned social critiques. The pair got into trouble with state censors on several occasions, notably with "Tri prani/The Three Wishes" (1958), for which they were banned from filmmaking for two years for depicting housing shortages and "decadent" postwar cynicism. Klos' and Kadar's best known film internationally was the intensely powerful, Oscar-winning portrait of a man assigned to "guard" an elderly Jewish woman during WWII, "The Shop on Main Street" (1965). After Klos assisted Kadar with the screenplay and direction of the disturbing psychological tale "Adrift" (released 1971), Kadar subsequently worked in the US and...

Began in documentary shorts and played a key administrative role in aiding the recovery and nationalization of Czech cinema after WWII. Klos met longtime collaborator Jan Kadar after the war at the Barrandov film studios and the two made their first film together, "Unos/The Hijacking," in 1952. Klos and Kadar, who generally wrote their films together but whose on-the-set responsibilities veered more toward administration and direction, respectively, would work together for almost two decades on eight films generally noted for their smooth craftsmanship, solid storytelling and impassioned social critiques. The pair got into trouble with state censors on several occasions, notably with "Tri prani/The Three Wishes" (1958), for which they were banned from filmmaking for two years for depicting housing shortages and "decadent" postwar cynicism. Klos' and Kadar's best known film internationally was the intensely powerful, Oscar-winning portrait of a man assigned to "guard" an elderly Jewish woman during WWII, "The Shop on Main Street" (1965). After Klos assisted Kadar with the screenplay and direction of the disturbing psychological tale "Adrift" (released 1971), Kadar subsequently worked in the US and Canada while Klos gave up filmmaking. After being forced to work as a construction engineer for a time, Klos taught at the prestigious FAMU film school at the Prague Academy of Arts and Music.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Adrift (1971) Assoc dir
2.
  The Shop on Main Street (1966) Director

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

:
Began performing odd jobs in the Czech film industry as a teenager
:
Collaborated with his scriptwriter uncle on several films and played small parts in several films as well
1935:
Helped set up and run a documentary film studio established by the Bata shoe company in Zlin (now Gottwaldov), a town 48 miles north of his hometown, at age 25 (date approximate)
:
Along with Otokar Vavra, helped lead a group planning the nationalization of Czech cinema after WWII
1945:
Became one of the group's chief administrators
:
Worked as head of a studio specializing in short films in Bratislava
:
Became head of the creative art staff of the Barrandov feature film studios in Prague; wrote scripts, including one for the psychological drama, "Dead Among the Living", directed by Borivoj Zeman
1952:
Directed first film, "Unos/The Hijacking"; first collaboration with Kadar
1954:
Caused some controversy when his second film with Kadar, the musical comedy "Music From Mars", presented its hero, the head of a factory, in a comic light; film eventually released to great popular success
:
Worked on the production team of "Laterna Magika" (1958) and "Laterna Magika II" (1960)
1959:
Klos and Kadar suspended for two years after making "Tri prani/The Three Wishes" (1958), which detailed postwar cynicism and housing shortages
1963:
Directed (with Kadar) first film after end of suspension, "Death Is Called Engelchen"; film won first prize at the Moscow Film Festival and at the Los Alamos Peace Festival
1968:
Shooting of "Adrift" (with Klos as associate director and co-screenwriter only) interrupted by the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia
1969:
Partnership with Kadar ended after they finished shooting "Adrift"; Kadar moved to the US
:
Worked in construction engineering for a period
:
Became a faculty member of FAMU, the film school of the Prague Academy of Arts and Music, where he taught and wrote essays and criticism on film
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Education

Charles University: -

Notes

Although "The Shop on Main Street" (1965) received an Oscar as Best Foreign Film and was praised internationally (Derek Malcolm of England's THE GUARDIAN called it "a skillful and deeply felt re-creation" of "a historical nightmare"), the Communist government in Prague described the film as "Zionist".--From THE NEW YORK TIMES, August 2, 1993

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