Are you afraid of clowns? I thought so. What about Spanish clowns? Sad clowns? Clowns in love? Machinegun wielding clowns dressed as the pope?
Director Álex de la Iglesia’s film, The Last Circus (Balada Triste de Trompeta) seems to have all this and more. Winner of Best Screenplay and best director at the Venice Film Festival (2010) and a selection of the Toronto International Film Festival (2010), The Last Circus will be opening August 12 (2011) in select theatres. The new red-band trailer gives a taste of the chaos to come. I’m not one for copy and pasting press releases but this one is so pitch perfect I have to relay it in full. I have never, in my life, laughed so hard reading a movie synopsis.
1937, Spain is in the midst of the brutal Spanish Civil War. A “Happy” circus clown is interrupted mid-performance and forcibly recruited by a militia. Still in his costume, he is handed a machete and led into battle against National soldiers, where he single handedly massacres an entire platoon. This absurd and disturbing scenario raises the curtain on a twisted tale of love, revenge, and psychopathic clowns that could only spring from the mind of filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia.
Fast forward to 1973, the tail end of the Franco regime. Javier, the son of the clown, dreams of following in his father’s career footsteps, but has seen too much tragedy in his life – he’s simply not funny and is only equipped to play the role of the Sad Clown. He finds work in a circus where he befriends an outlandish cast of characters, but as the Sad Clown he must take the abuse of the brutish Happy Clown Sergio, who humiliates Javier daily in the name of entertainment.
It is here that he meets Natalia, a gorgeous acrobat, and abused wife of Sergio. Javier falls deeply in love with Natalia and tries to rescue her from her cruel and violent husband, unleashing Sergio’s jealousy. But Natalia is torn between her affection towards Javier and her lust for Sergio.
With neither man willing to back down, this twisted love triangle evolves into a ferocious battle between Sad Clown and Happy Clown, escalating to unbelievable heights in this absurd, shocking, irreverent and unforgettable film.
See? It’s brilliant. It’s absurd. Confusing. Ridiculous. And now I want to watch this movie. For now we’ll have to settle for the trailer. View the Red Band Trailer HERE
This film may not be for everyone but it already has the makings of a cult classic. Who knows, maybe it’ll help ease your fear of clowns…yeah…not likely.
(Thanks to our friends at Ginsberg / Libby for the use of the press release and image)