Saturday, January 31, 2009

Then came the Depression - they closed down the sewers!

Mr Freedom (1969)

Starring: John Abbey, Don Pleasance, Delphine Seyrig, Serge Gainsbourg, Inflatable Things

The Gist: Mr Freedom (Abbey) is an “America, F*ck Yeah!” superhero who gets sent to France by his boss, Dr Freedom (Pleasance), after the death of his friend Captain Formidable. There he must free the French people from the grip of “Red Chinaman” and promote the message of democracy to their weak “froggy” minds.

And then what happens?: So from the way they pronounce the phrase “Red Chinaman” I assumed this was a catch-all term for hordes of Communist Chinese people infiltrating France. About an hour in I realised that no, “Red Chinaman” is a character, in this case represented by a giant inflatable dragon with flood lights for eyes who takes up an entire station of the Metro in Paris. The Trocadero to be precise. The only way I can explain remembering that is because Mr Freedom was baited to go there by a huge radio in his suitcase. I’m also drunk.

See it for:
God, the whole thing. Almost every moment is gold. For example - Mr Freedom is sent to talk to some guy at the US Embassy. It’s decorated like a big bugged-out supermarket and staffed by a group of bouncing blonde cheerleaders who dance and hop in semi-synchronisation as they follow Mr Freedom and The Guy around. They pass displays of mostly Omo, Coral and Ariel detergent set up like massive distracting pop art exhibitions. This is an exchange between Mr Freedom and The Guy:

The Guy: Ah Mr Freedom, good to see you. And Batman and John Wayne, are they well?
Mr Freedom: Yes, they’re just fine.

Stuff this summary didn't even have time for: Super Frenchman (also inflatable); a half-naked Serge Gainsbourg beating up a warehouse full of similarly naked people; Mr Freedom throwing a tiny window cleaner off the balcony; the Freedom Theme Song.

Level of Crazy: 10. This Ess is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-ESS.

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