I Clowns (The Clowns) (1970)
Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 9
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 0
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Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0
Average Rating: 3.8/5
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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
Jan 1, 2001 Wide
Feb 22, 2011
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It's not that The Clowns is not a good deal of fun, or that it is boring; it's just that -- to me, anyway -- this sort of coda doesn't do justice to the entire career.
This is artful and sometimes very amusing, but it doesn't work as fiction because Fellini is tied to facts, and it doesn't work as documentary because Fellini will not (cannot?) abandon his gift of giving the raw material an artistic shape.
The gorgeous, affectionate sequences outweigh the awkward ones, and The Clowns is an overall success.
Not Fellini's best, but Fellini nevertheless.
This is the film's ultimate message: don't think so much and just try to have some fun.
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