A Funny Man

Short Film Drama/Tragedy

Year of production: 2010

Shot on Sony PMW-EX1

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A Funny Man is about a clown who shares flyer cards for a fantastic circus show in Warsaw city. The people don't seem to be interested until something happens...!

The film can be seen as a combination of documentary style combined with fiction. For his role as the funny man actor Maciek Matusik and his supporting colleages were thrown into a real environment in Warsaw City.

A Funny Man was the first film I made during my second year at Warsaw Film School.

The first initial cut was longer but this shorter final version was my diploma film at the Film Academy of Miroslav Ondricek in 2011.

Director's Commentary (2020):

So it's been 10 years already after filming this funny man. Or let's say the Joker in real life ;) !

Or maybe: "The lost meaning of what clowns were supposed to be."

What fascinated me back then when making the shortfilm was the image of an old-fashioned artist clashed against the cold world of our modern society which isn't as simple as it used to be.

In history clowns never had it easy. But in recent years media changed how we look at clowns. And maybe for the worse. Recent popculture represents an image of creepyness, nightmares and evil hiding behind a mask associated with clowns. People fear them. And although there are so many other interesting and entertaining things around here these days for kids (and adults), still the little ones find them fascinating as portrayed in this shortfilm.

Clowns are and should present sth. good and positive for children (although they are a little clumsy sometimes). Clowns are entertainers and artists!

"Joker" starring Joaquin Phoenix is a great motion picture nonetheless. But when you think about it still doesn't provide the best vibes for all clowns working out there in the real world. They aren't maniacs! On the other hand lets be critical from another point of view here. If the Joker wasn't the Joker from "Batman" or a clown from any horror movie like "It", would anybody give a shit watching that film? Would it sell? Do people know the purpose of what real clowns are? Or did their kind of entertainment become boring and out of fashion? Our understanding of clowns changed by misusing their profession for our new way of entertainment (by horror, fear, weirdness) especially in movies and videogames. Maybe for the worse.

It's hard to say if there are still any "real" clowns around there in the 21st century. And be honest here! It is sad. Some of the old magic is gone somehow.

It's funny for me to be reading my disappointment about circuses around Poland and Germany in the credits after all these years. The situation then was that circuses refused to help us shoot our original final scene in the movie: The idea was to show the audience aplauding with smiling children during a circus show (with real reactions filmed in a documentary style) after the camera moves away from the dead clown's face. Still a great idea to end this movie and it's a pity we never were able to shoot it then. The movie ended up with just the audio of an aplauding crowd (which is effective as well, cause we imagine the faces) . After all these years maybe now I understand what it was all about. I think already then circuses were aware of the negative image given by any media. Circuses are criticized for the animals, for living like gypsies, and their clowns are presented as creepy murderers. Of course they want nobody to film more of that shit.

Still there are some "nice" movies about circuses: water for the elephants for example ;) Check it out!