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Everybody Loves a Clown

Here’s an interesting New York Times article on the Internet-age rediscovery of 1969 short Winter of the Witch and obscure elementary school-screened shorts of long ago. I posted this on my Facebook profile yesterday and it prompted some good discussion — which led me to seek out my ‘Winter of the Witch’ equivalent, a short I saw in the first or second grade about a boy who loses his dog. The film was screened for multiple classes at an assembly, so we knew it was important. I remembered that it had no dialogue, seemed vaguely European, and had an ending so monumentally sad and puzzling that it left me crying for the rest of the day!

Well, some brief snooping around has located the identity of that long lost film memory: Clown, a 1968 French short written and directed by Richard Balducci. The ending still pisses me off, but on the whole it’s a charming little bit of melancholy filled with some great scenery of Montmartre in the springtime. Those French really know how to manipulate, don’t they (sniff, sniff)?

4 Thoughts on “Everybody Loves a Clown

  1. dizzythecat on May 26, 2011 at 8:16 am said:

    Ohhh Matt, such memories!
    I can still recall my entire fifth-grade class marching to the Multi-Purpose room, sitting in our burnt-orange molded plastic chairs, and watching “A Desk For Billie”.
    It was about a young homeless girl who worked really hard in school, I think…
    Best of all, it got me out of the dreaded P.E. class…
    Oh, and “Island of the Blue Dolphins” was a big hit each year too.

  2. My own WINTER OF THE WITCH was THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T, which scared the shit out of me in elementary school.

  3. What, you couldn’t handle seeing those old men whose beards are all connected?

    Brad, I’ll have to look out for those films you mentioned. Another one that is supposedly good (according to one imdb reviewer) is called Paddle to the Sea.

  4. dizzythecat on May 28, 2011 at 9:41 pm said:

    “Paddle To The Sea” is an almost silent masterpiece.
    The sequence where the builder-guy pours hot lead into the keel of the little boat makes my jaw drop.
    So simple, so perfect.
    Do you remember the Jackson Pollock short film of the same era when he threw paint on canvas and then cut them all up with a saw and floated them down a river?
    Blew my mind…

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