Muhammad Ali, the Greatest
William Klein | France | 110
William Klein’s masterful portrait of the Man So Mean He Made Medicine Sick focuses on the lead-ups to and aftermaths of three of his signature fights (both title matches with Sonny Liston in 1964 and 1965, and the Rumble in the Jungle with George Foreman in 1974) and, in the process, miraculously manages to touch on nearly everything the three-time undisputed heavyweight champion of the world represented. Muhammad Ali, the Greatest is arguably the most complex documentary about an athlete ever made, as attuned to the fascinating sociopolitical climate surrounding the champ as it is to his incomparable achievements within the ring. An exhilarating medley of Ali’s unforgettable press-conference performances and incredible footage showcasing his physical and rhetorical prowess alike, the film argues for his status as one of the key cultural figures of his time.
Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris
Terence Dixon | UK, France | 27
This rare film document of one of the towering figures of 20th-century American literature—photographed by Jack Hazan (Rude Boy, A Bigger Splash)—captures the iconic writer in several symbolic locations, including the Place de la Bastille. As Hazan recounts: “Things don’t go to plan for him and the film crew when a couple of young Black Vietnam draft dodgers impose themselves on the American. Baldwin wrestles with being a role model to the Black youths, denouncing Western colonialism and crimes against African Americans while at the same time demonstrating his mastery and understanding of the culture he supposedly despises.” Restored from a 2K scan of the 16mm original color negative A&B rolls and the 16mm optical negative. Scanning services by UPP, Prague. Picture and audio restoration, grading, and mastering by Mark Rance, Watchmaker Films, London. The film is presented in 1.37:1.