Eclipse Series 9: The Delirious Fictions of William Klein (Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? / Mr. Freedom / The Model Couple) (The Criterion Collection)
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And did I say that Mr. Klein is a truly competent film maker?
William Klein is known for his photography, but during the 1960's, he was an expatriate living in Paris where he made these 3 films, Who Are You, Polly Magoo?, Mr. Freedom, and The Model Couple. Many films from this time period are dated, but these 3 films are still contemporary in their attitudes and are timeless because of Klein's irreverence and excellent mise-en-scene. The best of the bunch is Who Are You, Polly Magoo?. It's a funny, still relevant story of a fashion model being interviewed for a French TV programme that isn't really interested in Polly, just interested in interviewing the "fashion model of the month". There is a lot of funny satire in this film, especially the way Klein satrizes the pretentions of these people and their questionable tastes in "fashion". The framing in this film is especially striking and totally unique, making it one of the best films I've seen in a while.
The 2nd film, Mr. Freedom, has all the trappings of a film that is completely dated. Its central character is literally titled Mr. Freedom, a parody of LBJ and the Vietnam, macho mentality that was especially vivid in the late 60's. But that mentality hasn't really gone away in America, or the world. In fact, many of the lines espoused by Mr. Freedom were said by Bush in the run up to the Iraq War, almost word for word (like "freedom is on the march" and "you're either with us or against us")! Did Bush see Mr. Freedom before his run up to the war? Probably not, but the mentality still exists.Read more ›
Klein was living in Paris in the late sixties and early seventies when these films were made and he attempted to take on some of the day's greatest social issues with biting humor. As a fashion photographer he has a visual style and flair that shows up in all of his work and his crowded frams always present something interesting to look at even if the message is somewhat dated.
Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (1966) takes on the vapid nature of the fashion industry and the hero worship that modern society has for beautiful people. It is shot in striking black and white and is as important in today's media driven culture as it was then.
Mr Freedom (1970) Klein's bizarre super hero film tackles the issue of American imperialism in light of the Vietnam War. Its a garish, colorful film with a subtle anti-American subtext. By creating a buffoonish superhero, Klein turned his camera toward the politics and culture of America exposing a dark core of imperialist aggression.
The Model Couple (1977) presages the world of reality television and shows just how easily government control, even for scientific purposes ac set a nation on the slippery slope leading to totalitarianism.
These films may not be to everyones liking but in small does they are well worth seeing at least as a window into what 1960's popular culture was and as a warning as to what our unchecked systems may lead to.
After Qui êtes vous, Polly Maggoo? (1966) and Mr Freedom (1969) just reviewed at amazon uk, this is William Klein's third comedy/satire: In 1977 France, the Ministry of the Future chooses two "normal," white, middle-class citizens, Claudine (Anémone) and Jean-Michel (André Dussolier), for a national experiment. They will be monitored and displayed on television for six months in a model apartment outfitted with state-of-the-art products and nonstop surveillance--the template for "a new city for the new man."
Overnight, they become famous and are subjected to endless questions by government functionaries. Commercial forces interested in using them for marketing research also begin to hound them. The couple is kidnapped just as they begin to rebel against their exploitation. This gives the government just the excuse it needs to drop the whole program, which had begun to develop in some awkward directions.
A searing satire on the breakdown of individual freedoms in the face of increasing governmental invasions of privacy, the comedy investigates the fine line between democracy and totalitarianism. The Cold War, spy v spy stories, 1984, comics, James Bond, Jacques Tati and more provide the background of the time. It also makes use of themes and scenes from Jean-Luc Godard's last pre-1968 movies, viz Masculin, féminin, Deux ou trois choses que je sais d'elle, La Chinoise and Weekend.
Cast: André Dussollier ... Jean-Michel-Anémone ... Claudine-Zouc ... 1ème Psychosociologiste-Jacques Boudet ... 2ème Psychosociologiste-Georges Descrières ... Le Ministre de l'Avenir-Eddie Constantine ... Docteur Goldberg-André Penvern ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A GREAT set of films! So happy to own this now! Thank you!Published 8 months ago by Charles F. Styles
I stumbled on to Mr Freedom because I liked Delphine Seyrig's work in Jeanne Diehlman. This collection is campy, brash, and definitely not politically correct or modest. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Carol Smith
WHO ARE YOU POLLY MAGOO is worth a look if you are a MOD 60's enthusiast - however, it is not BLOW-UP, so be prepared for a divertissement. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Peitor Angell
I recently saw segments of William Klein's Who Are You Polly Maggoo used as accents in the documentary about Diana Vreeland, The Eye Has To Travel. Read morePublished on October 16, 2013 by Alexander
Everyone did a great job reviewing this product so far, I only wish to mention that these movies are fun, inventive, and absolutely worthwhile in terms of technique, story,... Read morePublished on February 21, 2013 by blakjak
Polly Magoo is a cute spoof of the world of High Fashion and High Society. Everyone wants a piece of her to advance their own interests and agendas. Read morePublished on January 11, 2012 by Gadget Guy
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