The Clowns

Directed by Federico Fellini

Release Year: 1970
Running Time: 92
Color Type: Color
Country: France, Germany, Italy
Language: Italian and French w/English subtitles [audio]
     

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Cast
Victoria Chaplin
Anita Ekberg
Riccardo Billi

Crew
Directed by Federico Fellini

Fellini's fascination with the circus and the surreal come to a head in one of his final masterpieces, The Clowns. The film reflects Fellini's childhood obsession with clowns and begins with a young boy watching a circus set up from his bedroom window.

Though comical and referred to as a "docu-comedy", this film explores deeper human conditions that resonate through the various clowns who vary from a local sex-crazed hobo, a midget nun, to a mutilated Mussolini disciple. The film diverges from its narrative and dreamy state to a more documentary like approach as Fellini searches out these jesters of his youth in Paris to see what has become of them ending with a funeral for one of the clowns. The carnival sounding score composed by Nino Rota and a cameo appearance by Anita Ekberg, the star of his 1960's masterpiece, La Dolce Vita, enhances the Fellini-esque experience.

Critical Acclaim

"Highly Recommended. Well, you're not likely to find a more passionate movie about clowns, and honestly, who better to cover this particular field than Federico Fellini. I Clowns is the Italian director's 1970 prankster pseudo-documentary about the art of clowning. Mixing memory, performance, and fact-finding, the filmmaker works his way through Europe talking to famous figures from circuses past and questioning the nature of modern laughter. It's fun, intriguing filmmaking, and new studio Raro Video comes out of the gate swinging with a fantastic package." - DVD Talk

"This was shot for Italian TV by Fellini and it was done with so much love that it defies the box it was made for with today. Truly a wonderful film." - Ain't It Cool

Awards

  • Special David di Donatello Awards
    Official Selection Venice International Film Festival