The Clowns

Director: Federico Fellini
Year Released: 1970
Rating: 2.5

In this made-for-Italian TV dream-fantasy, Fellini begins with his early fascination with the circus and then moves on capriciously to making a pseudo-documentary about "notable clowns" from his childhood (even dragging his "crew" to Paris). The elements of this that involve actual "clowning" are captured with extreme delight and color - making the director's obsession with the art understandable - although it becomes something of a mess once Fellini's sometimes charming, sometimes annoying ADHD is let loose in the real-world instead of a less contained venue like that of the circus ring. It's a minor, half-baked project, but still fanciful if you appreciate the filmmaker's solipsism.