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The Last Circus 2011 R CC

3.8 out of 5 stars (67) IMDb 6.5/10

A twisted love triangle evolves into a ferocious battle between a Sad Clown and a Happy Clown, escalating to unbelievable heights in this shocking, irreverent and unforgettable film.

Starring:
Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre
Runtime:
1 hour, 45 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Álex de la Iglesia
Starring Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre
Supporting actors Carolina Bang, Manuel Tallafé, Alejandro Tejerías, Manuel Tejada, Enrique Villén, Gracia Olayo, Sancho Gracia, Paco Sagarzazu, Santiago Segura, Fernando Guillén Cuervo, Jorge Clemente, Fofito, Sasha Di Bendetto, Juan Viadas, Ángel Acero, David Sánchez Calvo, Joaquín Climent, Juana Cordero
Studio Tornasol Films
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robin Simmons VINE VOICE on October 16, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Crazy indeed is cult director Alex de la Iglesia's 2010 Venice Film Festival winner about two clowns - one sad and one happy - who enter into a bizarre and memorable love triangle. Set during the brutal Spanish Civil War as well as the end of Franco's regime, the demented parable is like an amalgam of Fellini, Del Toro, Hitchcock with a pinch of Burton and more than a twist of German Expressionism. Often nightmarishly absurd, shocking and irreverent, the visually rich cinematic tapestry defies a singular interpretation and like all great -- or even good -- art, sticks in the mind long after it is experienced.
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Format: Blu-ray
"The Last Circus"
(Magnolia Home Entertainment, 2011)

If you have a friend, or girlfriend, who doesn't like clowns and thinks that they're creepy, don't take them to see this film, thinking it'll help cure them. This dark Spanish action/tragicomedy tells the tale of two clowns, one a sociopathic abuser of women (the funny one, who makes kids laugh) and another whose father -- also a clown -- was killed by Franco's police after the Spanish Civil War. Javier is the sad clown, instructed to avenge his father, but unable to do it and consigned to a life as a nervous nebbish... That is, until he falls in love with the other clown's seductive, masochistic girlfriend, a path that leads to a kaleidoscopic welter of madness and violence. The first half of the film has surreal touches, but is almost a straight tragicomedy -- in the second half it leaps over the abyss into blood-soaked absurdism. There is an insane mishmash of stories, with hints of "The Most Dangerous Game," "The Blue Angel," "Phantom Of The Opera," "The Crow," various Hitchcock finales and every evil clown movie ever made. It's fascinating, grotesque and will test the endurance of many a viewer. For the right kind of viewer, it'll be a real thrill.
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Format: Blu-ray
Gordon Sullivan, DVD Verdict --After a few opening moments of clowning, a military man shows up to conscript the clowns. Once they're conscripted, director Alex de la Iglesia unleashes an action scene that's equal parts Quentin Tarantino and Federico Fellini. He keeps his happy clown (and the rest of the circus troupe) in circus garb as the conscripted troops fight the fascist rebels. We watch as this clown--armed with a machete--cuts down soldier after soldier before being wounded. It's a carnivalesque version of Saving Private Ryan as directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, a kind of fever-dream of the fight against fascism. Truth be told, this paragraph will tell you everything you need to know about whether to see The Last Circus. If the idea of Fellini and Tarantino collaborating on a remake of Saving Private Ryan sounds like a good idea to you, then chances are this is for you.

Of course it's not all slow-mo fighting and clowns wielding machetes. The film is also about the legacy of Franco's regime, forbidden love, and the vanishing art of the circus--all that, and a clown-versus-clown showdown. The Last Circus is stuffed to the brim--with violence, with color, and with plot. Yet, it never feels as schizophrenic as it sounds, effortlessly taking the viewer from 1937 to the early 1970s and the growing relationship between Javier and his acrobatic love interest.

All of the various plot points--from the circus to Franco's soldiers--allows de la Iglesia to indulge in his frankly beautiful visual style. The whole film appears to be decaying before our very eyes, with crumbling structures and desaturated colors, while the compositions are framed like paintings. Even if the idea of warring clowns sounds terrible, de la Iglesia has shot his mad tale beautifully.
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Format: DVD
Some of the Better Spanish horror films I've seen, "The Devil's Backbone" and "Pan's Labyrinth" to name two use the The Spanish Civil War as a backdrop. "The Last Circus" follows that lead.

Here's the scoop. A rebel troop, on the spur of the moment, dragoons a group of circus performers in a battle with government soldiers that is taking place right then and there. Some are killed while others, including a "funny clown," are captured and put to work building a giant cross. The son of said clown sets off dynamite at the work site, taking out the eye of a general and causing the ultimate death of his father. Years later he becomes a "sad clown" in a circus and becomes infatuated with a beautiful female performer who is also the girlfriend of his "happy clown" partner. Said partner beats the girl on a regular basis and our "sad clown" figures he's got to save her. This leads to a real wild ride.

The sight of armed clowns, and other garbed up circus performers, fighting it out with soldiers is as bizarre a sight as you're likely to see in the movies. And that's just the first scene here so you know you're in for it. Though things do calm down a bit after that they are no less strange. The circus performers are an odd lot and seeing the girl put up with the regular physical abuse from her boyfriend is both painful and strange. Is there something wrong with her or is she playing out a repeating scenario with would-be rescuers? Things get increasingly more strange as the story plays out and that's where it lost me.

In the third act things become so surreal I could no longer suspend my disbelief. My guess it was supposed to be this way. No one in their right mind could figure this would be believable, but the purpose escaped me.
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