I CLOWNS (THE CLOWNS)

PrintE-mail Written by Dominic Cuthbert


BLU-RAY REVIEW: I CLOWNS (THE CLOWNS) / CERT: U / DIRECTOR: FEDERICO FELLINI / SCREENPLAY: FEDERICO FELLINI, BERNARDINO ZAPPONI / RICCARDO BILLI, FEDERICO FELLINI, GIGI REDER / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 27TH

Federico Fellini’s oeuvre is so loaded with strange and influential films that it’s easy for some to get overlooked in favour of Juliet of the Spirits or 8½. The Clowns, however, as part of the Masters of Cinema series has been given the Blu-ray overhaul and plays more like a curiosity than some great underappreciated part of the director’s work.

The Clowns, a barmy blend of documentary and fantasy, may very well have been made for TV, but it did receive a simultaneous theatrical release. Articulating his own complicated fascination with circus performers, the film is almost a companion piece to Fellini’s masterful 1954 film La Strada, which captured the circus in a fuller, less rose-tinted light.

That isn’t to say that The Clowns was shot with blinkers on, it does capture the energy and exploitation of the big top, but with little of the cruelty. In any case, it’s certainly superior to Roma, which, two years later, adopted a similar chaotic structure with less of the insight or humour.

Though there isn’t much in the way of narrative, Fellini does talk of his early experiences of the circus and how he, like many, was scared of clowns; wistfully conjuring up an Italy filled with grotesques, themselves clowns by any other name. Starting by simply narrating the piece, he soon takes up the role of interviewer, leading the viewer on a tour through seminal circus performers throughout Italy and France. There’s even Charlie Chaplin’s daughter Geraldine with a bubble machine.

In typical Fellini fashion, it’s quite odd, beautifully shot and lit with all the knowing of a renaissance painting, indeed the primitive pleasure of the circus has perhaps never looked as good on screen. But it’s not without its sadness, with many of those interviewed and Fellini himself stating that the circus of their past no longer exists.

There may very well be moments of laughter and enlightenment, though the sequences of clowning do grow tiresome quickly and while it does wear thin, it’s always well shot. In searching for the clowns place in history and society, Fellini proved again why he’s such a revered and significant filmmaker.
Extras: Fellini's Circus


Suggested Articles:
Certain strands of popular fiction have stereotypes attached to them that are so engrained they form
John Boorman’s revenge drama starring Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson is released on Blu-Ray as par
Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Season 2 Complete Collection brings together the final season of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal and
The DC Universe is a unique world full of mythical, larger-than-life characters ever since its birth
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

THE KILLER B’ MOVIE COLLECTION 16 October 2017

POINT BLANK 14 October 2017

YU-GI-OH! ZEXAL SEASON 2 COMPLETE COLLECTION 14 October 2017

WONDER WOMAN 12 October 2017

THE RICHARD PRYOR COLLECTION 12 October 2017

THE UNRAVELING 11 October 2017

VAMPIR CUADECUC (1971) 10 October 2017

THE STEVE MARTIN COLLECTION 10 October 2017

COLD MOON 10 October 2017

CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS 10 October 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner