Presented by the Melbourne Cinémathèque
The Golden Clown
18–24 Oct 2021
The life of a travelling clown (Gösta Ekman), his wife (Karina Bell) and his circus director father-in-law (Maurice de Féraudy) turns to full-blooded melodrama when he’s hired by a top music hall in Paris, instigating a web of neglect, betrayal and dishonour.
A key contribution to the international 'quality' cinema of the era, with high-level cinematic craft and shimmering set design, A. W. Sandberg’s film transcends itself during the uninterrupted clown performances, which the camera observes with wide-eyed melancholic fervour.
A remake of Sandberg’s own The Clown from 1917, the film was the biggest hit of the 1920s for its production company Nordisk, and remains an exemplar of Danish’s cinema transnational approach during this period. Paris location shooting blends perfectly into scenes shot in Denmark, while the multinational cast is led by a masterful performance by Swedish actor Ekman, best known for his titular role in Murnau’s Faust (1926).
– Andréas Giannopoulos, Melbourne Cinémathèque committee member