Elmar Klos

Active - 1937 - 1970  |   Born - Jan 26, 1910   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Musical

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Czechoslovakian filmmaker and screenwriter Elmar Klos is best known for his long, productive collaboration with director/writer Jan Kadar. Together, the two gained a considerable reputation for making thoughtful, earnest, socially conscious documentaries and features. Because many of these films, notably Music from Mars (1954), subtly criticized the communist state, the duo had frequent battles with authorities that resulted in them being banned from filmmaking for two years -- the film that got them banned, Three Wishes (1958) offered a bitter look at post-WW II housing shortages. Their best known collaboration is the 1965 film Shop on Main Street for which they received an Academy Award for "Best Foreign Film." Klos, the nephew of a screenwriter, started working in films as a teen. When he was 25, he helped found a documentary studio and then became a key figure in creating a national Czech cinema following WW II. Between 1946 and '47, he headed a studio that made short films before moving to the Bar Tandov feature film studios in Prague where he was the director of the creative art staff. He and Kadar, whom he met after the war, made their debut collaboration The Hijacking in 1952. Kos and Kadar's final collaboration was the 1971 film Adrift. Afterward Kadar moved to North America to direct films while Klos retired from directing. Much later he became a lecturer at the Prague Academy of Arts and Music film school FAMU. He also wrote texts about Czech cinema.

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