Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Delirious Fictions of William Klein @ Hibbleton

Each Monday in December, the Hibbleton Film Series will be hosting a retrospective of the “delirious fictions” of William Klein, curated by award-winning filmmaker Steve Elkins. Klein’s incredible life included studying under legendary cubist pop-art painter Fernand Léger, and ironically becoming one of Vogue magazine’s most important fashion photographers, despite the fact that he was indifferent to fashion and his sardonic images so inverted traditional ideas of glamour that Vogue would often censor them. An expatriate living in Paris, his films are barely known in the United States, despite being highly innovative surrealist modern fairy tales imagining present and future forms of social oppression in the United States. Today, Klein’s politically galvanizing social critiques of the fashion industry, the American empire, and governmental mind control seem even more acute than the works of better-known new Wavers.

William Klein

Here’s the lineup of films we’ll be showing every Monday evening in December. Each screening is FREE. Films begin at 7:30 after an introduction by Steve.

Monday, December 8: “Mr. Freedom” (1969). In which Mr. Freedom is sent off to a third-world France to combat leftist freethinkers and alleged commie invasions from Switzerland, delivering American foreign policy in star-spangled football padding and space-suit gadgets, to plastic and inflatable enemies of freedom like Red China Man. Legendary cast includes Delphine Seyrig and Serge Gainsbourg!

Monday, December 15: “The Model Couple” (1977). In 1977 France, the ministry of the Future chooses two “normal,” white middle class citizens to be monitored and displayed on television in a model apartment outfitted with state-of-the-art products and non-stop surveillance, the templete for “a new city for the new man” modeled on expectations for the year 2000. A searing satire of the breakdown of individual freedoms in the face of increasing governmental invasions of privacy, few films have so accurately predicted the age of the NSA and “Reality TV” in which we live, nor so humorously examined how easily democratic institutions can slide into totalitarianism with full consent of the public.

Monday, December 22: “Zazie Dans Le Metro” (1960). Possibly the most formally anarchic movie ever made, a live-action Roadrunner cartoon shot entirely on the streets of Paris starring a little girl who hates all adults, insults them routinely and curses like a sailor while turning Paris into her persona playground alongside a torch-jugling polar bear who appears often with little to no reason. If you don’t see it for the glorious food fights, the best use of the Eiffel Tower of all time (as a child’s jungle gym), or for the non-stop use of every pre-digital special effect to visualize this “unadaptable” story written in an inverted language by a former member of the Surrealists, then see it because Wes Anderson obviously has this thing on repeat in his home theater but will never make a movie half as good.

Monday, December 29: Documentaries of William Klein (1958-present). An overview of Willaim Klein’s documentaries, including a film on Eldridge Cleaver of the Black Panthers during his exile in Algeria from the CIA, and the first films ever made on Muhammad Ali, Little Richard, and the Pan-African Festival.

Hope to see you there!

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