NYFF extended through today

Muhammad Ali, the Greatest and Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris screening tonight

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Terence Dixon’s Meeting The Man: James Baldwin In Paris screens tonight at the Queens Drive-In, weather permitting.
Terence Dixon’s Meeting The Man: James Baldwin In Paris screens tonight at the Queens Drive-In, weather permitting.

Film at Lincoln Center has announced that the New York Film Festival postponed Brooklyn Drive-In screening on Sunday, October 11 of William Klein’s exceptional Muhammad Ali, The Greatest (1974), preceded by Terence Dixon’s confrontational Meeting The Man: James Baldwin In Paris (1971), shot by Jack Hazan (director of Rude Boy and A Bigger Splash, the film on David Hockney) has been rescheduled for tonight, October 13 starting at 8:00pm, now at the Queens Drive-In, weather permitting.

The newly restored Muhammad Ali, The Greatest (1974), Klein’s incomparable documentary (Revivals programme selection), is much more than a boxing film chronicling the fights of Sonny Liston vs Cassius Clay, Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston, and George Foreman vs Muhammad Ali. What Klein captures on camera in regards to race relations is powerful, exposing shameless bigotry and frightfully timely attitudes.

William Klein’s Muhammad Ali, The Greatest
William Klein’s Muhammad Ali, The Greatest

The filmmaker collects comments and snapshots from the press, from the trainers, from the old white lady with the curlers in her hair shopping at a supermarket, from little Black boys in the playground shouting Ali’s slogan, that they too will “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”. During a press conference after the first fight, “suave and calm”, the newly crowned World Champion changed his tune, no need for clowning and PR stunts anymore. “I don’t have to be what you want me to be” he says to the media.

Muhammad Ali, the Greatest is also screening virtually through Friday, October 16 at 8:00pm.

Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris will have free limited virtual rentals through Friday, October 16 at 8:00pm.

The Queens Drive-In location is at the New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street in Corona, Queens.

The 2020 New York Film Festival now runs through October 13.

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