08 August 2006

Two things, one brief, one less so.

The brief one -- from this article, a complete "I'm not a cattle rustler, and besides, you got lousy cows" moment:
She said Hausner never hit her, but constantly belittled her. "I was really miserable," she said. "He'd tell me, 'You can't cook, you can't clean. You're ugly. No one wants you.'"

In a jailhouse news conference Monday, Dale Hausner challenged Karen Hausner's claims.

"That's just ex-wife stuff," he said. "That's just character assassination. She is just looking to get her ugly face in the paper."

The Less So: So, anyway, this weekend I finally got to see Mr. Freedom, William Klein's French-Though-Made-In-English over the top satire of Ueber-Patroitism and Jingoism. GREAT visual design in this film, which I suppose you'd expect from a photographer and all, and really amusing, absurd lines ("You want one piano? You got it. You want two pianos?"), though it IS a bit muddled (though things kinda-sorta fall into place as you go forward). The film's a superhero parody starring Mr. Freedom, a football-uniformed, well, cretin, trying to save France from Communism and Anti-Freedom Forces. There's a few other Superheroes, for example, Super French Man, a balloon caricature of a "Hohn hohn hohn" type Frenchman -- er, literally a balloon, Moujik Man, the representation of the USSR, and Red China Man, an inflatable dragon.

It's intended to be a parody of the United States' role in Vietnam (and works pretty clearly as that), though it, sadly, hasn't exactly become terribly outdated in its message. It's still surprisingly current, though in ways you probably wish it weren't, if you catch my meaning, seeing as, well, the US-Stand-In is a cartoonish bully who tries to do the right thing without any regard for consequences, methods, or whether or not it's actually, well, right.

The film was lost for a long time, and according to the DVD (available in France only, sadly, on Arte Video), they had to do a full-on restoration job, and even then, some of the reels were STILL kinda scratchy and faded, and the soundtrack muffled (it doesn't help that a lot of the actors are French speaking in English, so you've got an added level of difficulty to understand with the accents and all -- if you know French, it might help to turn on the French subtitles -- I don't though, so...). Sadly, no bonus material on the disc either -- it'd be great to learn more about this film (especially since I've heard that the producer cut it without Klein's knowledge (which might explain some of the muddledness), and that it was banned in France for a while) -- seems that there's a lot of story there that'd be ripe for a documentary.

Other highlights -- the Mr. Freedom theme song, the closing credit painting (!) and the fact that Serge Gainsbourg's in it! (For REALS. He also does the music.)

Apparently, it's pretty easy to find bootleg-wise, too. I'm not necessarily sure if it's worth buying sight-unseen (it's the only Klein film I've seen, but from reading other reviews, it seems that "Pretty cool, but kinda muddled and flawed" is his leitmotif), though the more I think about this movie, the more I think it actually IS worth picking up. Maybe I should.

F-R-Double-E-D, D-O-M spells BOOM BOOM!


Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

One other thing -- while trying to find the correct link for ARTE, which I, um, couldn't -- swear that's the URL the DVD gave..., I did find this bit of news over at Masters Of Cinema... Funeral Parade Of Roses is being released on a UK DVD this month! This is AWESOME, because it means at least one of these things:
a) (Obviously): It's coming out in an English Edition That Won't Cost Nearly As Much As The Japanese Box Set Version!
b) We might get it over here shortly, too! Maybe on Kino? Or, ideally, Criterion...
c) Maybe we'll get the box set, too!
d) Maybe we'll get BOTH box sets, the features one and the shorts one, too! ALong with a translated copy of that one feature that wasn't translated in the box set!

(please please please let me get what I want (d))

11:19 AM, August 08, 2006  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

For some reason the forwarding account has been bouncing. This here's a test.

7:23 AM, August 09, 2006  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

Bleh, another test. Stupid Yahoo.

7:47 AM, August 09, 2006  
Blogger Lee H. said...

I hate to cause another bounce, but *YAY* about "Funeral Parade" in English!!

10:13 PM, August 10, 2006  

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