Flaherty NYC is pleased to return for an election week extra edition with a special screening of Mr. Freedom, expatriate photographer and filmmaker William Klein’s hilarious, vitriolic and expressionistic adventure farce about a right-wing American superhero turned loose on the streets of Paris.
Mr. Freedom is a buffoonish, ubuesque imperialist operative dispatched to France by Dr. Freedom (a televisually disembodied Donald Pleasance) to rendezvous with Marie-Madeleine (Delphine Seyrig) and thwart a communist invasion from Switzerland. Once there he wastes no time establishing a French Freedom corps, including Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Claude Drouot, while battling Moujik Man, a colossally padded bolshevik, and Red China Man, a giant inflatable dragon. Whether clad in cowboy boots or decked out in star-spangled sports padding, John Abbey brings a proto-G.W. swagger to the title role as he fires a pair of six-shooters and sings his freedom anthem off-key. Jonathan Rosenbaum has described Mr. Freedom as “conceivably the most anti-American movie ever made;” whether its prescience in anticipating present-day verbal and visual rhetoric of United States patriotism speaks well for Klein or poorly for America is up for debate. Whatever the case, Mr. Freedom is undeniably a movie for the 21st century.
Director: William Klein. 100 min. 1969. 35mm.
A special sidebar screening as part of Flaherty NYC.
Ticket Price: $12, Film Club Member: $8.
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