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Les clowns 2011

At last, a film on the history of clowns, these poets of the absurd, these “men under construction” as the poet Henri Michaux described them. From the beginning of the 20th century with Charlie Chaplin, to the present day with James Thierrée, his grandson, this archival film relates the evolution of clowns across the world, identifies affinities and marks breaking points. The whole range of the art of the clown is represented, from Popov’s and Slava’s obsession with perfection, to Fratellini’s or Semianyki’s clumsiness as art. A saga like a wild poetic gospel, which showcases their humorous dimension but also underscores their tragic aspect. With complex characters such as Buster Keaton and Jacques Tati, who make us shiver by the accuracy of their take on the human condition and remind us, with Fellini, that clowns don the ridiculousness of mankind.

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