The tragicomedy of the absurd, is based on the works of Daniil Kharms (1905-1942). Trying to recreate reality 30s, who came to the flowering of creativity Harms, the director plays the style of filming, acting at that time and enters into the picture, "the aged" sound. Thus, it is possible to achieve maximum reliability of the author's text and sound to help the viewer to immerse themselves in the atmosphere in which he lived and worked classic absurdity. This is - a world of illusions, allusions and associations, reflecting a stream of consciousness of the creator living in an era of silence.

Director and camera - Dmitri Frolov
Cast: Dmitri Shibanov, Dmitri Frolov, Natalya Sourkova, Alexey Zaharov, Viktoriya Zlotnikova, Mark Nahamkin, Yevgeniy Suhonenkov, Alexey Frolov, Alexandr Kostin, Yakov Shmayev, Vyacheslav Gridin
Music: Dmitry Shostakovich, popular melodies 30s



1989 to 2005


Technical data

Original format: 




Aspect ratio: 



Colour & B&W




53 minutes


Special Award "Through thorns to the stars" for the new language in cinema (International Festival of Independent Cinema "Pure Dreams - VIII", November 2005)

"In "Clownery" Frolov works with the realities of absurdity, the absurdity of the world as a whole, the behavior and interaction of people. At the heart of this "interaction" are static schemes that work very accurately when they are exposed, fed in a crystallized form. So, for example, the relationship between a man and a woman is extremely bare, because somehow even awkwardly "rectangular", whereby the satirical effect of the depicted is achieved. This is a subjective vision of Kharms's creativity, or rather, Harms reflected through the prism of Frolov's vision. Harms, of course, does not remain in the full sense of the word Kharms, passing through this prism, but this is a very successful, in our opinion, combination of points of view, at first glance, not the same.

In "Clownery" Frolov works with various editing concepts, subordinating their use to their creative goals. Collage, interframe editing, which, as you can see, remains a favorite technique and a decade later - in "Above the Lake" - even just the installation of episodes and plans follow one idea, contribute to the translation of the absurd language of prose into a film language. "Clowning" - the first full-fledged work, according to the director himself. He took it off quite early - at 22 years old. At about the same time I learned about the "parallel cinema" and plunged into it, participated in the festival of the same name, which was held for the second time in 1988 in St. Petersburg. "Kharms works coincided with my inner world," says Dmitry Frolov in an interview. "I am interested in the phenomenon of the heyday of the arts, science, thought" of the Silver Age. "
It is curious to play the name - the otherworld - behind the mirror - the "Clown of Hell" - along with a continuous writing lying on the surface, which is by no means unequivocal in interpretation.
"Clownery" has the most pronounced narrative of the works mentioned by Frolov, while there is still a relatively clear form of narration.
Trying to recreate the realities of the 30s, during which the flourishing of Kharms's creativity took place, the director reproduces the manner of shooting, the acting of that time and introduces an "aged" sound into the picture. Thus, he manages to achieve the maximum reliability of the sound of the author's text and help the viewer to immerse himself in the atmosphere in which he lived and created the classic of the absurd. It is a world of illusions, allusions and associations, reflecting the stream of consciousness of the creator living in the era of silence.
The film lingered on the shelf for a long time and was recently available to the viewer for viewing. "I will not shout at the truth, if I say that I gave only half a year of life and all that money to this film, without being distracted by extraneous matters," - from the interview to the project "Look Present".


Russian premiere - XI Russian Film Festival "Literature and Cinema", Gatchina, February-March, 2005


Image Gallery: 

Clownery (Dmitri Frolov, 1989-2005)
Clownery (Dmitri Frolov, 1989-2005)



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