William Klein moved into more blatantly political territory with this hilarious, vicious Vietnam-era lampoon of imperialist American foreign policy. Mr. Freedom (John Abbey), a bellowing good-ol’-boy superhero decked out in copious football padding, jets to France to cut off a Commie invasion from Switzerland. A destructive, arrogant patriot in tight pants, Freedom joins forces with Marie Madeleine (a satirically sexy Delphine Seyrig) to combat lefty freethinkers, as well as the insidious evildoers Moujik Man and inflatable Red China Man, culminating in a star-spangled showdown of kitschy excess. Delightfully crass, Mr. Freedom is a trenchant, rib-tickling takedown of gaudy modern Americana. —The Criterion Collection
William Klein (born in New York, New York, USA, on April 19, 1928) is a photographer and filmmaker noted to for his ironic approach to both media and his extensive use of unusual photographic techniques in the context of photojournalism and fashion photography.
Trained as a painter, Klein studied under Fernand Léger and found early success with exhibitions of his work. However, he soon moved on to photography and achieved widespread fame as a fashion photographer for Vogue and for his photo essays on various cities. Despite having no training as a photographer, Klein worn the Prix Nadar in 1957 for New York, a book of photographs taken during a brief return to his hometown in 1954. Klein’s work was considered revolutionary for its “ambivalent and ironic approach to the world of fashion”, its “uncompromising rejection of the then prevailing rules of photography” and for his extensive use of wide-angle and telephoto leneses, natural lighting and motion blur. The world of fashion… read more
As a pinko with a penchant for all things late 60's, this would seem to be right up my alley and was recommended to me on that basis. But somehow the execution ruins even the best, funniest-in-theory conceits (China represented by a giant red paper mache dragon, a shopping mall as government headquarters) and the political commentary is too one-note and superficial, so nearly everything falls disappointingly flat.
Without no doubts, for me this is one of the brightest and original critical view ever made in film about Uncle Sam´s dream! Influenced and framed with all the "May 68"´s mood. As I am portuguese, and at the time this movie was shot, Mr. Freedom was about to give a little hand to our Freedom stepfoot to revolution, in 1974, I wonder how would Portugal be portrayed in this movie.... :-)
Legendary fashion photographer William Klein’s brilliantly art directed and occasionally funny satire made at the height of the Vietnam war about America’s aggressive cold-war stance. Virtually every… read review
The best superhero movie ever made, hands-down. It has the good sense to embrace the brightly-colored melodrama of comic books and then pushes it into a new space off to the side — the fusion of vivid… read review
Somehow, Klein manages to find cohesion and logic in all his zany concoctions of satire and memorable characters. John Abbey as Mr. Freedom is more than likely to entice or piss off any number of Americans… read review