Milos Stehlik, Founder of Facets Multimedia in Chicago, Dies at 70

Variety | 7/7/2019 | Alissa Simon
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Czech-born Milos Stehlik, an award-winning film critic and commentator for National Public Radio station WBEZ and the film curator, founder and artistic director of the pioneering media arts center Facets Multimedia in Chicago, died Saturday of cancer.

Stehlik founded Facets in 1975, screening hard-to-find international and independent films in a Chicago Lutheran church. When the non-profit organization found a permanent home on Fullerton Avenue in 1977, Stehlik branched into video distribution, eventually offering thousands of otherwise unobtainable titles for sale and rental, both over the counter and by mail. As viewing formats changed, so did the Facets catalogue, moving into dvds and streaming.

Titles - Facets - US - Label - Krzysztof

Titles that Facets first made available in the U.S. or released on its private label included Krzysztof Kieslowski’s “Decalogue,” Bela Tarr’s “Satantango,” Milos Forman’s “Black Peter,” Forough Farrokhzad’s “The House Is Black,” Frantisek Vlácil’s “Adelheid,” and collections of experimentalists such as the American James Broughton, the German Heinz Emigholz and the UK architect-turned-filmmaker Patrick Keiller. Over the years, devoted Facets customers included such bold-face names as Martin Scorsese, Stephen Sondheim and Cher, as well as hundreds of university and public libraries. In a 1998 New York Times article, Roger Ebert opined, “If you can’t find it at Facets, chances are you can’t find it. He’s [Stehlik] really making a difference, on a national, even a worldwide, level.”

It was important to Stehlik to be able to introduce films from his native country, which were unknown in America. Only in the last decade or so has the Czech New Wave been regularly included and assessed in film history texts. And Facets made it possible...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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