William Klein Mr. Freedom 1969
William Klein
Mr. Freedom 1969

Described by Klein as ‘a three-penny, science-fiction slapstick opera,’ this vitriolic political satire thinly disguised as a comic-book superhero caper is for Jonathan Rosenbaum ‘conceivably the most anti-American movie ever made, but only an American […] could have made it.’ The titular hero (John Abbey), aided by his sexy sidekick Marie-Madeleine (Delphine Seyrig), is on a mission to save France from the evil forces of May ‘68 and the communist threats embodied by Soviet villain Moujik Man (Phillipe Noiret) and Red China Man – a massive inflatable dragon. The absurd, over-the-top narrative and cartoony visuals are reminiscent of Zazie dans le Métro (see above); in fact, both films refer to a reality that is stranger than fiction. The highly original, strikingly colourful costumes and props were designed and handmade by Klein and his wife on a shoestring budget, and Serge Gainsbourg, author of the soundtrack, also makes a cameo appearance. 

This event is related to the exhibition William Klein + Daido Moriyama