My Gleanings

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Claude Berri and Milos Forman try "Hair"

In 1968, Claude Berri and Milos Forman were in pre-production in Paris on a film titled "Taking Off" with a screenplay by Jean-Claude Carriere when Forman got the idea that if they bought to buy the rights to the musical "Hair" and merge it with the "Taking Off" project. Berri traveled to London where he attended a performance of the musical and was blown away. Forman and Berri then flew to Los Angeles where the writers of "Hair", Jerome Ragni and James Rado, were. Claude Berri, in his memoir, "Autopotrait" published in 2003 takes it from there. (my translation)

"Several words about our trip and the missed rendezvous of the previous night, then they informed us that their guru was going to read the Tarot to see if it was well that Milos direct and that Claude produce the film. I looked at Milos, he was aghast, as I was. As the guru revealed the cards, I saw the faces of the authors become more and more dispirited. The Tarot were resolutely opposed to Milos directing the film and Claude producing it.
Apparently, though, we pleased them. I was thirty-three; I was young and beautiful. They had seen "The Two of Us" ("Le Vieil Homme et l'Enfant" a film Berri directed the year before) which they liked much. After several minutes, they talked it over and decided to give us a second chance. The cards were worse than the first time. The die was cast; nothing was left except for us to return to Paris, empty-handed."

The film "Taking Off" was made by Milos Forman in America in 1971 and then Forman would finally get to direct "Hair" in 1979 without Claude Berri.

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