Primarily acting as a nostalgic retrospective on clown art, Fellini introduces us to all variety of clowns and their acts. For those who remember the circus fondly it will no doubt be interesting, but I've never been much of a circus fan, and the picture offered only brief moments that I found interesting.
Fellini's greatest achievement: breaking the domination of linear narrative in time, that one-dimensional, controlling monster--making a wholeness instead from how the heart and mind, working together, revisit and re-vision memory within the present. Ideas made wholly imperfect, made human. In this film and all his others.
Again, I see an artist like Fellini in terms of the arc of his career and as such a sort of totality. So The Clowns is absolutely essential viewing to anyone who wants to understand the depth of his vision -- the codes, symbols and, well, philosophical questions that drove him. I am also really fascinated by Fellini's increasing need to make films about himself making films. The layers just keep pulling away....
A highly imaginative history of clowning: part mockumentary, part dream-memoir and part loving tribute to a dying art. It's beautifully constructed and gets at the dark side of clowning, culminating in an elaborate confrontation with mortality in a clown funeral. And it feels early for such a precise take-down of cinema verite’s clichés, influenced by earlier debates about neo-realism. One of Fellini’s very best …
A surreal meditation, or perhaps eulogy, to the forgotten art of the Clown. Fellini's cinematic vision is influenced hugely by the weird & wonderful world of the circus, and The Clowns is an imaginative ode to it. The film uniquely bounces between documentary, surreal reenactments & sobering memories. It's a fun journey & one that's surprisingly insightful- who knew Clowns really were the innovators of slapstick!
I've always preferred the early to mid period Fellini,considering his later films to veer a little bit too much towards the grotesque, for my taste.However, after seeing this gem of a film.I now understand his recurring obsession with the world of the circus, which he constantly referred to in his films."The Clowns" beautifully captures the joy,sadness and surrealism of Fellini's World and maybe our world aswell!
Vivid and boldly filmed as only Fellini can do, this visual shrine to the big top clown is at its best when revelling in the farce & frivolity of the circus. I would love to give this more stars purely for the Auguste's Funeral Parade Party climax (it's ice cream & cake for the eyes) but Fellini's decision to shove in a documentary narrative feels affected, distracting & a bigger artifice than the clown vignettes.
Manic and hilarious and touching and surreal and entirely delightful... Fellini's cheeky disregard for genre conventions is a perfect tribute to the art of clowning... Through whimsy and satire and melodrama and self-deprecation, the film - like the art - reveals something deeply human in a way we probably (maybe tragically!) don't see enough of anymore.
Fellini followed up 'Satyricon' with this made for television film which was an affectionate hybrid of documentary and staged tribute to the dying art of being a clown. While never boring to watch one wonders at the earnestness of the endeavour. At one point one asks Fellini "What is this supposed to symbolize Maestro?" yet no answer was given or forthcoming. A strange but interesting exercise.
A wonderful tribute to clowns and circuses. Fellini mixes history, clown performances and poignancy to say good bye to clowns because circuses are disappearing. Audiences are too sophisticated for circus and clown acts it would appear. Fellini touches on endings, death, aging, and loss all intermingled with the humour of clown acts. A great film and all because a boy loved the circus.