The tiresome “ohmygod, clowns are so creepy” trope is about as worn-out as the holes in the big, floppy shoes one associates with these face-painted goofballs, but watching The Clowns, one begins to understand that the meme is rooted in truth. Yes, this is a G-rated, made-for-TV look at clowns, but it’s also one written and directed by Federico Fellini, which means you’re gonna get, to quote the box, a “sex-crazed hobo, a midget nun [and] a mutilated Mussolini disciple.” The 1970 film is making its Blu-ray debut and, as with all Fellini works, the crisp resolution adds hugely to the experience, bringing spectacular contrast and color saturation to the director’s fever-dream set pieces. Of particular note here is the inclusion of a beautiful (if small) 50-page booklet filled with Fellini’s production notes and sketches. (available now)
Special Features: Fellini short, visual essay, booklet
Originally appeared October 20, 2011 in Orlando Weekly.