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V.20 No.38 |

film

Fantastic Fest Day 2

By Brennan Foster [ Sun Sep 25 2011 9:45 PM ]

The annual Fantastic Fest film festival is taking place in Austin this week. It’s the largest genre-based film festival in the United States. We sent special correspondent Brennan Foster to hunt down the weirdest films, the coolest parties and the biggest star sightings he could find.

Lots of good movies get shown at a festival; and then there are those great joys, the ones that leave audiences buzzing. When they're foreign, Hollywood will likely snap up the remake rights.

Let The Right One In, The Chaser, Trollhunter and now this year’s buzzed-about French thriller, Sleepless Night, all got deals with major studios. (The haunting Let The Right One In was first to be remade as Let Me In, filmed in New Mexico.)

Now, it is my great pleasure to endorse Denmark’s Clown--a comedy that will never be remade for American audience ... ever. I also doubt the film will get any distribution in North America for reasons that I won’t reveal, but which are integral to the story.

Clown recently won the jury prize for Best Film at Montreal's Fantasia Festival. It began as a Dutch television series ("Klovn") that ran for six seasons.

Stand-up comics Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen star as versions of themselves: Frank is stuffy and self-centered; Casper is a desperate and gregarious middle-aged playboy. Together, they plan to slip away from their partners, rent a canoe and row out to a one-night-only island brothel for a "Tour de Pussy."

But when Frank attends a friend’s wedding party, he discovers his girlfriend has hidden her pregnancy from him, claiming he's not "father material." Case in point: He acts like an ass toward her pudgy 13-year-old nephew, Bo.

After he fails miserably at winning back her trust and love, Frank decides the best way to prove his parental worth is to kidnap Bo and take him along on the "Tour de P." as they tactfully rename it for childrens’ ears.

It's like "Curb Your Enthusiasm" meets The Hangover with a juvenile in tow. Frank's frustrated attempts to teach and protect Bo lead to a downward spiral, made worse at every turn by the duo's poor decisions and absent morals.

There are a lot of comedies featuring men behaving badly, but Clown's director, Mikkel Norgaard, masters the genre with a shockingly hilarious ending that had me covering my eyes and shrieking with laughter.

I won't give anything away, but trust me: In Clown, it's the little details that make the difference.

You can find the original series DVD box set on Amazon.co.uk. You must hunt it down!

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