Delirious Fictions Of William Klein, The: Eclipse From The Criterion Collection
William Klein's explosive New York street photography made him one of the most heralded artists of the sixties. An American expatriate in Paris, Klein has also been making challenging cinema for more than forty years, yet with the exception for his acclaimed documentary Muhammad Ali, the Greatest, his film work is barely known in the United States. In his three fiction features - Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?, Mr. Freedom and The Model Couple - he skewers the fashion industry, the American empire, and governmental mind control with hilarious, cutting aplomb. Today Klein's politically galvanizing social critiques seem even more acute than the works of the better-known New Wavers. These are colorful, surreal antidotes to all forms of social oppression.
Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (Qui etes-vous Polly Maggoo?)
Meet Polly, a top model from Brooklyn cutting a swath through the labyrinth of Parisian haute couture. Klein's kaleidoscopic deconstruction of vapid glamour and Euro pretensions was the cathartic culmination of several years of shooting, sometimes scandalously, for American Vogue.
All hail Mr. Freedom, surly superhero from the States, who's come to Paris to rid it of Communist infiltration, hacking and slashing at anyone with an opposing viewpoint who gets in his way. Politically pulverizing and bloody beautiful, Mr. Freedom is the ne plus ultra of sixties satire.
The Model Couple (Le couple temoin)
Let us introduce Claudine and Jean-Michel, alarmingly average in every way, selected for their mediocrity by the French government to represent the country in a futuristic experiment. They're subjected to nonstop surveillance and physical and psychological tests in an enclosed (and televised) space - but, of course, they believe they're "bettering society".