The "Bunding Circus" is a small circus on tour through Northern France; the proprietor is Herr James Bunding ( Herr Maurice de Féraudy ), an Englishman who had lived all his long life in France. He has a beautiful daughter, Frau Daisy ( Frau Karina Bell ) who works as an horse acrobat in the show. Herr Joe Higgins ( Herr Gösta Ekman ), the star of the "Cirque Bunding" as its musical clown. Both youngsters will fall in love and on the very day of their official engagement, Herr Higgins receive a very important offer from Herr Marcel Philippe ( Herr Robert Schmidt ), the most famous Parisien artist in costume, to perform his show in the city of Paris.
The film "Klovnen", directed by Herr A. W. Sandberg in the silent year of 1926 is certainly an exceptional film, a wonderful surprising oeuvre for any silent film fan. The film is a remake of Herr Sandberg's own film from 1917 which starred the famous Danish actor Herr Valdemar Psilander. Unfortunately this Herr Von has not watched this last one but certainly the remake is an excellent "circus film" from that genuine and specific silent film genre that this Herr Graf likes so much.
Herr Sandberg takes his time in order to develop and depict in detail a particular a three sided relationship and the tragedy that follows ( the running time of the film is 130 minutes ). For this reason the film at first seems weak, even simplistic in some way. However, there are aspects as the film unfolds that certainly reveal their artistic intentions...and thus Herr Sandberg measures and carefully depicts the initial love story between Herr James und Frau Daisy in order to accentuate and appraise the drama that such young couple will suffer as they move to Paris.
So, during the first part of the film, Herr Sandberg little by little depicts the construction of a beautiful and pure love story, showing the dreams, hopes and joys of the young couple. That's until they change their easy modest circus life and the dusty roads of Northern France for the luxury and temptations of the big evil city and its creatures. Then Herr Sandberg shows the deconstruction of such a love story and the particular fall into disgrace of Herr Higgins, in what it is a remarkable portrait of despair, desperation and madness that certainly Herr Gösta Ekman plays pretty well.
For this reason, there are two different parts of the film. Herr Sandberg's artistic intention is in reflecting in its entirety the motives of the tragedy that will be suffered in the lives of Herr Higgins und Frau Daisy. These two youngsters had everything in life ( rich, famous and even Herr Higgins a kindly mother-in-law! ) but finally lose everything. It's a romantic and modern drama exquisitely photographed by Herr Christen Jorgensen as can be seen in the beautiful restoration edited by the Danish film institute.
"Klovnen" is in some ways, the paradigm of any genuine circus film, that is to say, a hyper-realistic oeuvre in where the primal instincts and feelings of human beings are at loose ( love, hate, misery, revenge ) and it's powerfully affected by the artistic environment. The film addresses the collateral dangers of success or fiasco and additionally in this case, the idealized and cinematographic atmosphere of that superlative French city. Paris is a perilous and modern city that finally will corrupt and destroy the innocence and happiness of Herr Higgins and Frau Daisy. It's a shining place of luxury that in those old times was full of mannequin parades and couturiers where one flirted dangerously with women ( nowadays this has changed completely, ja wohl!). But thanks to Herr A. W. Sandberg skillful and exquisite film direction, "Klovnen" stand out as a romantic drama that powerfully exemplifies the artistic virtues of what must be considered an excellent and powerful circus film.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must to clown around one of his Teutonic rich and fat heiresses.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien
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