“The clowns didn’t make me laugh. No, they frightened me.”
Renowned filmmaker Federico Fellini pays tribute to the European clowns of his childhood in this pseudo-documentary.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Fellini Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
Fellini’s “comical yet elegiac tribute” to European clowns is clear evidence of the “profound effect” they had on his work. As Peary notes, it’s remarkably easy to see “the parallels between clowns… and the absurd characters (midgets, drunks, the handicapped)” peopling all of Fellini’s films. There are many touching and/or enjoyable scenes in the movie (which originally aired on television); my favorite is the opening circus act, which manages to convey the pure slapstick enjoyment audiences at the time must have felt.
Ironically, Peary notes that as a boy, “Fellini didn’t like clowns because they reminded him of sad aspects of reality”; here, we see how radically his appreciation changed over the years.
- Many memorable sequences
- Nino Rota’s score
No, but it will certainly be of interest to Fellini fans.