The Eclipse Viewer – Episode 10 – The Delirious Fictions of William Klein

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This podcast focuses on Criterion’s Eclipse Series of DVDs. Hosts David Blakeslee and Trevor Berrett give an overview of each box and offer their perspectives on the unique treasures they find inside. In this episode, David and Trevor talk about The Delirious Fictions of William Klein, three features shot in the 1960s and 70s by the celebrated and influential fashion photographer.

About the films:

William Klein’s explosive New York street photography made him one of the most heralded artists of the sixties. An American expatriate in Paris, Klein has also been making challenging cinema for more than forty years, yet with the exception of his acclaimed documentary Muhammad Ali, the Greatest, his film work is barely known in the United States. In his three fiction features—Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?, Mr. Freedom, and The Model Couple—he skewers the fashion industry, American empire, and governmental mind control with hilarious, cutting aplomb. Today Klein’s politically galvanizing social critiques seem even more acute than the works of the better-known New Wavers. These are colorful, surreal antidotes to all forms of social oppression.

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Timeline for the podcast:

Introduction/Background (00:00:01 – 00:18:00)

Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (00:18:01 – 00:45:00)

Mr. Freedom (00:45:01 – 01:13:50)

The Model Couple (01:13:51 – 01:36:40)

Conclusion (01:36:41 – 01:47:28)

Buy The Box Set On Amazon:


Episode Links

Director Overview:

Broadway By Light (1958 short film by William Klein):

Retrospective on William Klein in FT Magazine

2008 Interview with William Klein in Cineaste Magazine by Jared Rapfogel

Klein page on Masters of Photography

Box Set Reviews:

Criterion Confessions review by Jamie S. Rich

DVD Savant review by Glenn Erickson

DVD Verdict review by Gordon Sullivan

Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?:

David’s Journey Through the Eclipse Series Review

The Real Polly Maggoo (2013 essay by Dorothy McGowan from Harpers Magazine)

Cinema Enthusiast review by Catherine Stebbins

Shock Cinema review by Steven Puchalski

Mr. Freedom:

David’s Journey Through the Eclipse Series Review

New York Times review by Vincent Canby

Kitty Sneezes review by Rev. Syung Myung Me

CHUD review by Mike Flynn

Through the Shattered Lens review by Lisa Marie Bowman

The Model Couple:

David’s Journey Through the Eclipse Series Review

New York Times review by Janet Maslin

Kitty Sneezes review by Rev. Syung Myung Me

Next time on the podcast: Eclipse Series 12: Aki Kaurismäki’s Proletariat Trilogy

Contact us:

Email: theeclipseviewer (at)
David Blakeslee ( Twitter / Website )
Trevor Berrett ( Twitter / Website )

David Blakeslee

David hosts the Criterion Reflections podcast, a series that reviews the films of the Criterion Collection in their chronological order of release. The series began in 2009 and those essays (covering the years 1921-1967) can be found via the website link provided below. In March 2016, the blog transferred to this site, and in August 2017, the blog changed over to a podcast format. David also contributes to other reviews and podcasts on this site. He lives near Grand Rapids, Michigan and works in social services. Twitter / Criterion Reflections