Year Released: 2000
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 14 minutes
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“White Face” is a cute little allegory of modern day racism. In filmmaker Brian McDonald’s world, clowns are a race all their own, and discriminated against simply because of their facade. The American Dream just isn’t for everyone it seems.
McDonald, a comic book writer, known for his work on the comics “Tarzan,” “Predator,” and “Lost in Space,” put “White Face” together on a shoestring budget, shot entirely with digital video. “White Face” will doubtlessly get a few chuckles from an audience. The film itself is a mockumentery, interweaving the lives of several everyday clowns, and their continual struggle to somehow advance in a society which is against them.
“I drew on my own experience as a black man, but not exclusively,” said Brian McDonald in a recent interview. “Every minority group seems to think it’s about them in some way.”
Many of the jokes fall flat, and the film itself feels too dependent on cliched one-liners to carry its message. However, McDonald does succeed in drawing energetic performances out of his actors. While he accepted by his fellow soldiers in Vietnam, wise-cracking Ed Yuk-Yuk (Abraham Alvarez) wrestles with everyday life as an auto mechanic. Matt Smith does a splendid job in his role as the persevering Dr.Blinky, who strongly resents the amount of opposition he’s faced with on a daily basis. Even some of his own patients cannot bear the site of him, and refuse to believe the fact that a clown is a real doctor.
“I’m a doctor goddamnit… do you know how rare that is, a Clown Doctor even in this day and age, its rare” says Blinky in one of “White Face”s more affective and profound moments.
Posted on November 20, 2001 in Reviews by Morgan Miller
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