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Mister Freedom with Jimi Tenor

Jimi Tenor and Marek Pytel bring Mr Freedom to the Royal Festival Hall

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by Joe Ambrose, Literary Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: March, 2006
Marek Pytel got the amazing Jimi Tenor to create a soundtrack for the movie and they staged their fun-drenched hallucination

Produced in Paris in the late 60s, comicbook movie Mister Freedom incorporates footage from the Paris riots, a one second cameo appearance by French heart throb Yves Montand, and the nastily pleasant Donald Pleasance as a fingerlicking good old boy. A feral pop art parody of US imperial strategy - perhaps the only real Pop Art movie ever - it was conceived and directed by award winning photographer and director William Klein.

In 2003 filmmaker Marek Pytel got the amazing Jimi Tenor to create a soundtrack for the movie and they staged their fun-drenched hallucination at London's Horse Hospital. I was there and I loved. I don't normally like comedy movies and I'm sufficiently alienated from the American notion of freedom not to need Mister Freedom's heavy handed satire in my life but there is something clever and heartfelt about Klein's vision which makes it significant and must-see.

Now Tenor and Pytel are doing Mister Freedom all over again and, this time, they've got a new print, Jimi has assembled his Big Band, and they're in a bigger venue. "Mister Freedom will rock!" says Jimi. "We have a really slamming band and I've been quite inspired when doing the arrangements. I've also included some older tracks in there like Trumpcard, Asteroid Belt and a tiny bit of Downtown. Mostly it will be same music as at the Horse Hospital a couple of years ago, but arranged for a big band. I would say it's more film music than 'big band' music."

They can only improve on a good thing.

Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, London. Friday 24th March, 7.45 pm. www.rfh.org.uk/ether

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Joe Ambrose
Literary Editor

Joe Ambrose has written 14 books, including Chelsea Hotel Manhattan and The Fenian Reader. Joe is currently working on his next book, Look at Us Now - The Life and Death of Muammar Ghadaffi, which is an expanded version of a story first published in the anthology CUT UP! Visit Joe's website for all the latest info: JoeAmbrose.co.uk.

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