Comments on watching and making films.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

DVD - Mr. Freedom

Eclipse is a, relatively, new subsidiary of the Criterion Collection, that is putting out DVD's of much lesser known films by great filmmakers. Unlike Criterion, though, these are stripped down affairs, sporting only digital restoration and a new transfer, but no other extras. My first encounter with Eclipse is their William Klein collection, of which, I have seen Mr. Freedom, and The Model Couple. The transfers on these films were great, so, ultimately, I think Eclipse has done a good job, from what I'm seeing so far, and look forward to more of their releases.

Ultimately, though, I have one problem with Mr. Freedom - I have no idea what the f@$% this movie is about! I mean, I know what its about, it's a farcical, over the top, commentary on American Imperialism, and especially the Vietnam War, but... Watch it, and see if you can figure it out. John Abbey plays the title role, Mr. Freedom, a super-hero-ish character, who wears a ridiculous costume, and goes to France to liberate the people from the tyrannical communist oppressors led by the likes of Moujik Man (a stand in for the Russians) and "Red China Man", a giant inflatable Chinese dragon.

Now, I know what you're thinking - How could a giant, inflatable, communist Chinese dragon be a threat to democracy? I don't know. You're guess is as good as mine. The film starts off on an incredibly strange note, and devolve's from there. By the time you've sat their, watching this thing for an hour and a half, you'll just end up wondering where your hour and a half went. If your into a film that bashes America in really oblique, and increasingly ridiculous ways, then Mr. Freedom is your film, but, to be honest, I've seen much better criticism of a nation in a lot of other films. Mr. Freedom was definitely not for me.

If you want to get an idea of how weird this movie is, here is a, relatively, tame clip from it - 

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