This leading figure of the Czech new wave co-scripted all of Milos Forman's native films before making his directorial debut with the acclaimed medium-length study of football fanaticism, "A Boring Afternoon" (1964). Passer's subsequent output displayed a Forman-like ability to capture the absurdity of everyday life and--as evinced by his highly-regarded first feature, "Intimate Lighting" (1965)--a sure feel for the uses of music in film. Following the Soviet invasion in 1968, Passer moved first to Western Europe, at the invitation of Carlo Ponti, and then to the US. He has made a number of modest, quirky films, the most successful of which, "Cutter's Way" (1981), an off-beat study of a group of drifters, became something of a cult favorite.
In the 90s, Passer turned to the small screen first helming the made-for-cable "Fourth Story" (Showtime, 1991) and earning critical praise for his handling of the 1992 HBO biopic "Stalin", starring Robert Duvall. Subsequently, he directed the miniseries version of "Kidnapped" (Family Channel, 1995).