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The Clowns [Blu-ray]

18 customer reviews

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(Oct 18, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fellini’s fascination with the circus and the surreal come to a head in one of his final masterpieces, The Clowns. The film reflects Fellini’s childhood obsession with clowns and begins with a young boy watching a circus set up from his bedroom window. Though comical and referred to as a “docu-comedy”, this film explores deeper human conditions such as authority, poverty, humility and arrogance, all of which manifest themselves through the characters of the clowns who vary from the local sex-crazed hobo, a midget nun, to a mutilated Mussolini disciple. Featuring Anita Ekberg, the star of his 1960’s masterpiece, La Dolce Vita and the director himself.


The Clowns marks Raro Video's debut on Blu-ray, and by pairing a Fellini film with a reasonably strong HD remaster and an extensive, handsomely designed booklet, they've certainly made a strong first impression on the format. Highly Recommended. --DVD Talk

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Federico Fellini, Anita Ekberg, Pierre Etaix, Anni Fratellini
  • Directors: Federico Fellini
  • Writers: Federico Fellini, Bernardino Zapponi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Full Screen, Subtitled, Color
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French, Italian, English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0057FGCLY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,836 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Clowns [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By digiunta on February 24, 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I'd like to defend this against some of the negative reviews here. Just my opinion. I don't work for the company. I haven't seen the French release but then that's not widely available, and not everybody has a multi-region player. I Clowns was just not available for so long. This is a full-featured disc with a 40 min. video essay about the film, a 50 pg. booklet filled with Fellini's color drawings, reproduced beautifully, and his long essay of reflections on clowns "A Journey Into The Shadow," - the most important bits from the coffee table hardback "I Clowns" published by Rienzi in 1970 (also pretty hard to get). And Fellini's 16 min. short from the omnibus film "L'Amore in Cittá," which has also been unavailable in the US. That's not all, sound in DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, and meticulous listing of cast, crew, and credits, identifying every person appearing in both films explaining where they appear, and even where scenes were shot and when.
The Product Description is misleading. It's not one of Fellini's "final masterpieces." It was done 20 years before his final film and is not a masterpiece, as Fellini himself describes in his essay, recounting the "carefree and laid-back attitude with which (he) approached it," "without thinking about it too much," approaching it with his "left hand." And it doesn't "feature" Anita Ekberg, she has a short cameo appearance in it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James M. Shertzer on April 26, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For Fellini fans, this is a treat - the director's lengthiest and most elaborate examination of one of the mainstays of his films - clowns and circuses. It's part biography (what an wonderful opening, with a small boy watching a circus tent going up outside his bedroom window, as if it's an extension of his dreams), part history and part circus extravanganza. Rota's score is a gem - circus versions of themes from practically all Fellini's films to that point. Shot for television but released soon after in theaters, the movie is not one of Fellini's best-photographed films, and I recall finding the color odd and grainy in the original 35mm prints. But this edition is about as good a transfer as you could hope for. Also, for Fellini completists, the disc includes Fellini's "Matrimonial Agency" from the early 50s compilation movie, "Love in the City." That film has yet to be released on DVD in the US. It's rather minor Fellini, but contains the seed from which Marcello, the central character in "La Dolce Vita," grew.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By E. D. DORSOGNA on January 2, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw this film in college in the early 70s; it was about the time of SATYRICON and after JULIET OF THE SPIRITS, thusly, around the time that Fellini was moving away from narrative cinema and into the "metacinema" that would be more and more prevalent in his later films. I CLOWNS was by far his most successful foray into films reflexive onto themselves as "film". Surely, none of his other pseudodocumenataries ever approached the emotional tug that I CLOWNS produces. The lovingly recreated clown acts that Fellini films, accompanied by the haunting trumpet theme that winds through one of them, has never left me. I am gratified that I CLOWNS will be available on DVD, finally; I only hope it is struck from a clean master and not just a rebooting of the inferior VHS copy that is still out there somewhere. I CLOWNS is a film that, if viewed with a sympathetic imagination, can bring anyone back to the wonderment felt at the world when one was young. Now that I CLOWNS is available, by my reckoning it is only LA VOCE DELLA LUNA, Fellini's last film, that is not available on DVD. C'mon, guys, someone's gotta release this one too!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DVD Verdict on October 18, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Gordon Sullivan, DVD Verdict --When The Clowns first arrived on DVD, fans were ecstatic that this little-seen Fellini film was getting an American release. However, most reviewers noted that the release wasn't as stunningly remastered as they would like. Many of those problems--though not quite all--have been addressed with this Blu-ray disc. The AVC-encoded transfer has an impressive amount of detail, and the print from which it was made is surprisingly free of damage. Color saturation is spot on, but there's something about the image that can look a little over-processed. It's nothing in particular (like edge-enhancement or excessive DNR) that I can point my finger to, but the transfer gives the impression that it could be better. For audio we get a pair of Italian DTS-HD tracks. One is mono, the other 5.1. The 5.1 track is a total waste, with no real surround use and little in the way of directionality or atmosphere. In either case, we're dealing with forty-year-old location sound on a television documentary. The audio doesn't have the body or clarity we expect from contemporary sources, though it's still very listenable.

The disc itself houses a pair of extras. The first is a short film that Fellini made for an anthology; it's a fictional take on marriage and comedy. The second is the more substantial of the two, a 42-minute "visual essay" on The Clowns that discusses its style and history while comparing it to other artifacts from the period (like archival photos of clowns). Finally, this release includes a long booklet with information from Fellini himself about the genesis of the project and how he envisioned it. In many ways fans of Fellini will appreciate this booklet and the "visual essay" more than the film itself.
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The Clowns [Blu-ray]
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