Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The culmination of filmmaker Federico Fellini's lifelong love affair with circus folk was his 1971 The Clowns (I clowns). Fellini's alter ego this time is a young boy, taking in his first circus (again, we're treated to the "parade" motif so often utilized by the director). As the clowns go through their rollicking routines, Fellini takes the time to snipe at movie critics by having one humorless newspaperman, who keeps repeating "What does it mean?", inundated with pails of water. There is also a fleeting homage to Charlie Chaplin in the form of Chaplin's daughter Victoria, who portrays an auditioning clown. Made for Italian TV, The Clowns sustains its exuberance by taking absolutely nothing seriously--not even Fellini, who makes fun of himself throughout in the guise of a pretentious documentary filmmaker.
clown, childhood, circus, filmmaker, director, homage, Italy, reminiscence
High Artistic Quality