Is there discrimination against clowns? An historian, who is a clown, provides background and introduces us to three clowns who reflect on life in the US: a physician, an auto mechanic, and... See full summary »

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...
Surgeon
Matt Smith ...
Dr. Howard Blinky
Louis Brotherton ...
Young Ed Yuk-Yuk
Abraham Alvarez ...
Ed Yuk-Yuk
Kathryn Mesney-Hetler ...
Mrs. Clarabelle Confetti
...
Prof. Barnum N. Bailey
Rhonda Redden ...
Receptionist
Trish McGuire ...
Principal
Luke Theopolis ...
Cameron Blinky
Ed Boyd ...
Customer
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Rollo (as José Gonzales)
...
Clarabelle's Mom
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Is there discrimination against clowns? An historian, who is a clown, provides background and introduces us to three clowns who reflect on life in the US: a physician, an auto mechanic, and an aging mom who's ill. The doc has made it to the ranks of a top profession but still faces prejudice; he goes to the principal's office at his son's school where the lad is charged with clowning around. The mechanic has brought his mute, horn-blowing cousin over from the old country, and a dissatisfied customer talks racist trash to them. Clarabelle Confetti, the aging mom, laments that her son has married a mime, and their kids are confused about who they are. Can't we all just get along? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Short | Comedy

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21 January 2001 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

A masterful piece of short cinema, duly underrated...
28 February 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I rarely see a documentary, short documentary, or especially short MOCK-u-mentary that I enjoy. They can be too arty, too sophisticated, or just plain silly (which is usually the case). We all love "Spinal Tap" (though not exactly short), and "20 Dates" was a joke. There are some, such as "Delusions in Suburbia" (or whatever that one is called about the tattooed guy who gets himself shot for a new "look"), that are so-so, but normally, I'm just not that into it, mainly because they are usually shoddily made, and improvised. Normally, I find, the filmmaker is just trying to screw around with his friends with their mini-DV camera until one of them actually gets to make a real movie like "Species III."

Anyhow, to leave this disparaging rant, I just found "White Face" quite endearing and real. It almost WAS a documentary on race relations in America today. There were no jokes, and therein lies the true humor Brian McDonald and his team conveys so elegantly. He creates a reality and sticks to it, so that the impeccable script that Brian wrote (so realistic, detailed, and scrupulous in fact, that many people I know thought that the actors were just improvising) really makes it seem as though clowns truly are a race in America today that are having the same trevails and tribulations as any other minority.

I found the entire film quite clever, as well. McDonald made sure to leave no stone un-turned, as he had plenty of vivid photographs of "the old days" for clowns, had a terrific set design that really looked like the houses of these clowns, and always made sure to add that certain something, such as the clown who is talking about his future next to his son clown eating ice cream, or the old woman clown who speaks about her child marrying "outside the family" to a mime, or even the "professor"-esque clown with glasses and such, always making sure to use the most eloquent of phrases and vernacular. Tip-top.

My personal favorite, of course, being the clown who has yet to learn the English language, and must say everything with a horn, honking all the way, only communicating through subtitles. What makes this even better is that McDonald's script allows the clown to not only speak in this way, but actually makes it as if the clown were speaking some unknown Russian dialect or something, like an immigrant who just entered the country with lots of, "Yes?" at the end of each sentence, and the like. "America is now place for clowns," just had us busting a nut practically.

Really check this one out. I'm sure it will have you just as excited as I in the end. Great example of how really knowing your shit with screenwriting, editing, cinematography, and sound design can make something that COULD be a big joke into a true piece of work (much like "Being John Malkovich" or other recent pieces that have been "comedies" without telling any jokes, per se... the humor lies in the seriousness, and that's not as easy as these fart/dick jokes everyone is telling in their "Road Trip"-esque movies these days).


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