Thursday, January 2, 2014

More of the Dutch "Day the Clown Cried" documentary surfaces online

The YouTube poster named “Unclesporkums” has decided to share with us another small chunk of the Dutch TV docu about the making of Jerry Lewis’s infamous unfinished film The Day The Clown Cried. This chunk, like the last one uploaded a few months ago, is concerned solely with the opening part of the film, wherein Jerry’s character works at a circus.

The clip is mostly notable for the fact that it includes nearly as much footage of the brilliant French comedian/clown/filmmaker Pierre Etaix as it does of Jerry. Etaix’s works were recently freed from copyright limbo and have acquired the great artist a bigger cult following (especially in the U.S., where the films had barely played upon first release). Etaix played a clown in Lewis’ mythologically crazy Holocaust-clown pic and is seen here being interviewed in French about his comedic alter-ego “Yoyo.” (Here is my review of the Criterion box set of Etaix's work.)

I’m assuming that there is either 10 or 40 more minutes of this documentary (depending on whether it runs 30 or 60 minutes in total). Hopefully “unclesporkums” will gift us with the rest in the months to come. In the meantime you can learn how Jerry directs actors to punctuate their lines with hand gestures. And, of course, marvel at how the film got financed in the first place.

And if you didn’t see the previous chunk of the docu, here it is with newly added English subtitles (click through to YouTube on the lower right, then press the wheel icon and put on Annotations):

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