Fantastic Fest 2011 Review: Clown
When I would ask other festival goers which films they especially liked, the same title kept popping up. Clown (a Danish film directed by Mikkel Nørgaard) was the name, the mention of was often followed by fits of giggles. When I would ask what the movie was about, many times people would simply shake their heads in lieu of giving an actual, verbal answer – but the general consensus was that this was a film that could not be shown here in the States. So, after being reassured that it wasn’t actually about clowns, I decided to see it.
Two friends, Frank and Casper have big plans for the weekend. They are going on a canoe trip, like you do, and also visiting a high-end bordello that brings in prostitutes from around the world and opens it’s doors but once a year for it’s elite sexual tourists, um…like you do. Let it be known that Casper has dubbed this venture the Tour De Pussy. Before embarking on Tour De Pussy, Frank learns that his girlfriend Mia is expecting and that she has serious doubts about Frank’s potential to be a father. To put him to the test, she asks Frank to babysit her 12 year old nephew Bo for the night and let us just say that it does not go well. This – and an unfortunate, hilarious and deeply disturbing incident of confusion with Mia’s mother – cause a schism between the expecting couple, one which propels Frank to act irrationally and – in a misguided effort to prove his worth as a parent – kidnaps Bo along for his weekend Tour (De Pussy). Casper, refusing to alter his plans in anyway, agrees to let the boy accompany them, thus exposing the lad to all manner of debauchery.
Clown is based on a comedy series of the same name created by Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen (who also play the exaggerated versions of themselves, Frank and Casper) and I found myself alternately cringing and making inhuman laughing sounds as I watched it. It’s boundary violating, completely inappropriate, infrequently kind of heart-warming and – if you can stomach some very disturbing humor – extremely funny.