Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The LASH Picture Show

When it's not boring me to tears with earnest films about saving the planet and other such trivial hoo-ha, the SUNDANCE Channel actually presents something that gets me all excited. Let's see, I think the IMDb sums it up best:


Absurdism
Fashion
Surreal
Satire
France
Nudity

These are a few of my favorite things and they are all there in the fluffy mess of "WHO ARE YOU, POLLY MAGOO?" It is the celluloid version of a collage collaboration by BIBA (they're back, dahlings!) and Salvador Dali.








Actually, the filmmaker is WILLIAM KLEIN, who also had a little side job as a fashion photographer back in the day....
The "plot" revolves around super model, Polly, and a TV show attempting to do a profile of her...but is there any depth to a model? What is the meaning of fashion? Is Prince Charming a foot fetishist? Where can I find a Saarinen-inspired TV like the Prince has in his bedroom?This flick doesn't answer any of these questions, however any movie that incorporates Fashion, Fetishism, French philosophy and Fabulashes that would make Twiggy blink thrice has moi as a new fan!

As a delightful little side dish, here's Polly's Yankee Doodle Cracker commercial! Sadly, Dorothy MacGowan-an unknown at the time, disappeared soon after the film was done...unless she's Julianne Moore's doppelganger!







Apparently, there's a box set of Mr. Klein's better-known works available...and it's going straight onto my Amazon Wish List:

"William Klein s explosive, challenging New York street photography made him one of the most heralded artists of the fifties. An American expatriate in Paris, Klein has also been making challenging cinema for over forty years, yet, with the exception of his acclaimed 1969 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 imperialism, and middle-class complacency with hilarious, cutting aplomb. Today, Klein s politically galvanizing and insanely entertaining social critiques seem even more ahead of their time than works of the more famous New Wavers that overshadowed them: colorful, surreal antidotes to all .."

Anything that has Donald Pleasence as "Dr. Freedom" and Serge Gainsbourg as "M. Drugstore" has got to be worth viewing! Oh, and now I'm sold...what a glorious montage of 1960s excess:



Mmmmmm......I can just taste a delicious double scoop in the art house of my mind: "PUTNEY SWOPE" and "MR. FREEDOM"!
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