One afternoon, filmmakers and press were bused to the outskirts of Reykjavik for a champagne reception at the Presidential Palace, home of various international summits (Reagan was here!), and the scenic spot where Iceland's gracious, articulate chief executive, Olafur Grimsson, would present a plaque to Forman to honor the Czech's venerable career. In a booster speech for Iceland, Grimsson mentioned Reykjavik as the site of the 1972 Boris Spassky-Bobby Fischer championship chess bout.
"It was disgusting the way the American government treated Bobby Fischer," Forman interrupted, alluding to Fischer's fights with his native country over Fischer's seemingly anti-patriotic outbursts and his anti-semitic rhetoric.
"We gave him Icelandic citizenship," Grimsson said. "He's buried in a small farming village an hour from Reykjavik."
"Actually I wanted to make a film about Fischer-Spassky, but only if they agreed to play themselves," Forman revealed to the gathered. "Spassky said 'yes' immediately. Fischer was interested, but he said, 'I'll only shoot if you begin at 2:30 in the afternoon, and quit after three hours.' Well, I couldn't do that."
"We have changed our tax structure for foreign filmmakers coming to Iceland," Grimsson piped in. "You can still make that film about Bobby Fischer!"
Forman smiled, diplomatically. He would think about it.
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