Witty, intelligent documentarian who began his career in France as a painter (studying with Fernand Leger), earned a reputation as a photographer (both fashion and landscapes) and began making films in the late 1950s.
Klein's debut film, "Broadway By Light" (1958), is a strikingly smooth montage of Times Square luminosity, shot in vivid color; the frenetic, vibrant tone of the film coerced Louis Malle to enlist Klein's aid in the making of his no-holds-barred Parisian romp "Zazie dans le metro" (1960).
Klein then made a series of documentaries for TV, including "Cassius le Grand" (1964), a portrait of the upstart, soon-to-be boxing star; a decade later Klein made an additional filmic portrait of the now-dethroned boxer, "Muhammad Ali--The Greatest" (1974), chronicling his bout with George Forman in Zaire.
The director's fiction feature debut, the superbly satiric expose of the fashion industry, "Who Are You Polly Magoo?" (1966), was followed by the far our "Mr. Freedom" (1968) and more documentaries, including "Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther" (1970) and "The French" (1982), about the 1981 Grand Slam tennis event at Roland Garros.
Director (Feature Film)
Cast (Feature Film)
Cinematography (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Editing (Feature Film)
Art Department (Feature Film)
Film Production - Main (Feature Film)
Had exhibitions in Brussels, Milan and Paris
Published book of photographs, "Life is Good and Good for You in New York: Trance Witness Revels" (also known as "New York" and "New York, New York")
Published book of photographs on Rome
Short film directing debut, "Broadway By Light" (color), shot on-location in Times Square, New York
Was technical advisor and visual consultant on Louis Malle's Queneau adaptation "Zazie dans le metro"
Feature film directing debut, "Qui etes-vous Polly Magoo?/Who Are You Polly Magoo?"
Filmed the profile "Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther"
Made "The Little Richard Story"
Abandoned film to concentrate on still photography (date approximate)
Returned to filmmaking with "Messiah"