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The Clown: An Archetype, Figure and Social Actor


Produced by Brian A. Bernhard, ‘A Fools Idea’ is a collection of documentary treasures that show stories through those who devote their lives to comforting the world by making us laugh.

A Fools Idea is a series of documentaries, produced by Brian A. Bernhard, that explore the role of the clown, in all its modern versions. These short videos portray how, on one hand, the archetype of the fool is the comic relief which, like theater, needs reality, and on the other, the private life of these artists, which is often stained by tragedy or melancholy. The project’s dimensions are vast. It includes clowns from Cirque du Soleil to street, local and nomad performers, as well as the odd living legend. Above all else, A Fools Idea questions what a “clown” is, in an era when the red nose and huge shoes are no longer a part of its identity.

In the modern scene, the clown has become more than a performative style; it is a figure that through exaggeration is too natural, which can be used to make us laugh, cry and feel the purest empathy with an ample range of human emotions. In this way, the type of performances that are presented in the documentary, the artist’s expression becomes language and universal communication. So far, A Fools Idea is the largest physical comedy database of  all time, and it invites us into the undocumented lives of those artists who live life to comfort others with their work, a profession that is, above all else, noble.

When an audience accepts to enter the space of a theater and let themselves go, there exists also an immense quantity of astonishment and magic. Even if every person has a different individual experience, there is a larger, shared experience that resonates, like in concerts, which is orchestrated to transform intimacy into pleasure and infectiousness. A Fools Idea pays homage to this type of experience and to those who make it possible by devoting their lives to it, more because of their calling than because of a professional choice. You can find the podcast of the documentaries on SoundCloud or iTunes. And more short documentaries on their Youtube channel.

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