Focus on William Klein

who are you polly maggoo
Who Are You Polly Maggoo?
Uncover a world of pop art, agitprop, photography, sporting icons, fashion and fabulous filmmaking in this explosion of wild genius from an untamed cinema original.

William Klein's 1950s Vogue and "ethno-paparrazzo" street portraits may be world famous, but his films - manic, anti-establishment satires and epoch defining, verite documentaries - remain relatively unknown. Until now.

Curated by Amree Hewitt

Thursday 22 January - Sunday 1 February 2009
$13 Full $10 Concession
6 Session Package: $60 Full $48 Concession
NB > 6 Session Packages can only be purchased by phone (03 8663 2583) or in person at the ACMI Box Office. All sessions must be selected at time of booking.

Thanks to Mr. William Klein; Walker Arts Center, MN., USA; Dean Otto; Argos Films.

Read Dr Adrian Martin's essay on William Klein here

who are you, polly maggoo? (qui êtes-vous, polly maggoo?)

Klein's first fiction feature is a wild, stylish strip tease of 1960s celebrity obsession and Parisian haute couture idolatry.

in and out of fashion: william klein

A hallucinatory joy ride into the world of a cinema original, this kaleidoscopic documentary explores the image making career(s) of William Klein.

eldridge cleaver: black panther

Agit-prop cinema portraiture, following US civil rights leader and Black Panther member Eldridge Cleaver as fugitive from a (contested) murder charge.

muhammad ali, the greatest

This sublime behind-the-scenes look at Cassius Clay 'becoming' Muhammad Ali distils the times and the essence of Ali's greatness.

mr freedom

In this political superhero pastiche, vitriolic anti-Americanism is matched in ribald intensity by the film's comic book energy and day-glow costumes.

fashion in france (mode en france)

The history of French fashion as told by Klein is a humorous hybrid of designer tableaux from Chanel to Jean-Paul Gaultier.

the model couple (le couple temoin)

A couple volunteer to inhabit a futuristic apartment, undergoing psychological testing and televised surveillance, in this prescient sci-fi farce.

the french

Borg, Lendl, McEnroe, Evert, Noah, Connors: see the stars and go behind the scenes at Roland-Garros in 1981, a pivotal year in the pantheon of tennis.

the little richard story

Musical dynamo Little Richard had found God and was fronting for southern bible salesmen by the late 1970s when Klein tracked him down.

hollywood california: a loser's opera

From a Monroe look-alike touting her wares at the corner newsstand to perennial audition hopefuls, this record of 1970s LA is vintage Americana.


Klein collaborated with conductor Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble on this sacred and profane vision of Handel's Messiah.

short works

Rarely-seen short works by William Klein screen with a Chris Marker classic: mesmerising cinema art.

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