Happy Birthday, Federico!
I Clowns (The Clowns)
dir. Federico Fellini, Italy, 1970, digital, 90 mins. color, in Italian w/ English subtitles
TWO-FOR-ONE OFFER: Purchase a ticket for the 5:00pm screening of I Clowns and stay for the 8:00pm program of Three Film Segments by Fellini at no additional charge!
Long before audiences shifted from innocent laughter to viewing clowns with fear and irony, Fellini's beautiful, poetic film revealed circus clowns' changing status as part of a greater cultural shift.
Not a documentary in the conventional sense, Clowns is deceptively playful. Fellini effortlessly zigzags between memories, fantasies, digressions and flashbacks, juggling fact and fiction to explore the secret world of these costumed performers.
With Clowns, Fellini changed the rules of non-fiction filmmaking, leading to the greater freedom and popularity documentaries enjoy today. Clowns shows that behind the buffoonery is delicate artistry and a complex culture that still mystifies us.
- Ted Knighton 2015