The Last Circus
It’s a great year for circus themed movies! Hot on the heels of the film Water for Elephants comes The Last Circus (original title Balada Triste de Trumpeta) written and directed by filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia, also known for such films as The Day of the Beast, Dance with the Devil, 800 Bullets and The Oxford Murders. “The Last Circus” takes place in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War detailing violent confrontations between circus performers and General Franco’s soldiers. A circus clown is interrupted in mid-performance and forced to join a militia where he is consequently led into battle against National soldiers. Armed only with a machete, he single-handedly massacres an entire platoon.
At the tail end of the Franco regime in 1973, Javier (Carlos Areces) is the son of the clown that was kidnapped. He dreams of following in his father’s career footsteps, but has seen too much tragedy in his life and, as a result, is not funny. He must then play the role of the “Sad Clown” and ends up finding work in a circus where he befriends an outlandish cast of characters. The “Sad Clown” must take the abuse of the brutish “Happy Clown”, Sergio (Antonio de la Torre), who humiliates Javier daily in the name of entertainment.
Natalia (de la Iglesia’s wife Carolina Bang) is a gorgeous aerialist and abused wife of Sergio. Javier falls deeply in love with Natalia and tries to rescue her from her cruel and violent husband but Natalia is torn between her affection towards Javier and her lust for her husband, Sergio. In a plot that bears a resemblance to Water for Elephants, both compete for the attentions of beautiful aerialist Natalia with disastrous consequences. With neither man willing to back down, this twisted love triangle evolves into a ferocious battle between Sad Clown and Happy Clown, escalating to unbelievable heights in this absurd, shocking, irreverent and unforgettable film.
The Last Circus premiered at the Venice Film Festival and also played in Toronto and at Fantastic Fest last year. Magnolia Pictures is bringing The Last Circus to limited theaters on August 12th.