Top Bill: The Films of William Klein

9/11/09 to 10/11/09

Whether chronicling the folly of haute couture, exposing the absurdity of social conformity, or documenting the peculiar effects of celebrity, photographer and filmmaker William Klein applies an outsider's sensibility and an audacious visual energy. This retrospective surveys Klein's decades-long career in and out of fashion.

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  • The Model Couple, October 10

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Past Films

  • Messiah

    • Sunday, October 11 3:00 pm

    William Klein (France, 1999). Klein's rendition of Handel's oratorio marries the exalted music to images of quotidian America. (116 mins)

  • The Model Couple

    • Saturday, October 10 8:35 pm

    William Klein (France, 1976). Vacuous French newlyweds volunteer for an experiment in perfect living in Klein's arch appraisal of social engineering. (101 mins)

  • In & Out of Fashion

    • Thursday, October 8 8:30 pm

    William Klein (France, 1998). The singularity of Klein's vision is on full display in this autobiographical annal of photographs, film clips, commercials, and drawings. (85 mins)

  • The French

    • Thursday, October 1 8:15 pm

    William Klein (France, 1981). Klein's tense record of the 1981 French Open-with Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Chris Evert, and others-is also a canny observation of the mechanics of performance. (135 mins)

  • Mode in France

    • Saturday, September 26 6:30 pm

    William Klein (France, 1984). In a series of brief and fanciful episodes, Klein's quasi-documentary ribs the rarefied world of French couture. With short Contacts. (98 mins)

  • The Little Richard Story

    • Thursday, September 24 8:15 pm

    William Klein (France/U.S., 1980). There are many Little Richards-especially if you count the impersonators-in this portrait of the self-described “Queen of Rock ‘n' Roll.” “A great, great film.”-Village Voice (92 mins)

  • Mr. Freedom

    • Saturday, September 19 6:30 pm

    William Klein (France, 1969). It's Red versus Red, White, and Blue in Klein's cartoon-colored satire of American adventurism, a perfect care package of buffoonery, bombs, and bombast. With short Broadway by Light. (103 mins)

  • Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther

    • Friday, September 18 8:30 pm

    William Klein (France/Algeria, 1970). The Black Panther leader delivers his revolutionary critique with guerrilla gusto in Klein's doc, shot in Algeria where Cleaver was living in exile. (72 mins)

  • Pan-African Cultural Festival

    • Sunday, September 13 5:00 pm

    William Klein (France/Algeria, 1969). Klein captures a moment of postcolonial jubilation at the massive cultural festival in Algiers, with appearances by luminaries from Miriam Makeba to Eldridge Cleaver. (120 mins)

  • Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?

    • Saturday, September 12 8:40 pm

    William Klein (France, 1966). As sharp as a sheet-metal dress, Klein's first feature lampoons the fashion world with caustic wit and high Pop style. (102 mins)

  • Muhammad Ali, the Greatest

    • Friday, September 11 6:30 pm

    William Klein (France, 1974). Klein's portrait of the legendary fighter, political provocateur, and self-made celebrity is “wonderfully revealing.”-N.Y. Times (111 mins)