‘Vibrant, arresting and often disturbing’ – The Guardian.
‘A cinematic delight’ – Variety.
Welcome to the circus: Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson takes you on a spectacular journey across a century of circuses, carnivals, and vaudeville.
UK’s National Fairground Archive was the essential source of archival footage for the feature, mixing Super-8 home movies, classic Edison films, amateur footage and any other kind of moving-picture material from the beginning of cinema through the 1960s.
Although there is no narrative in one sense – the film is almost completely wordless – the story is there in the editing, and in the soundtrack, composed by Sigur Ros among others.
Beauty queens, human cannonballs, knife throwers give way to animal acts like lionesses riding on horseback, and polar bears on seesaws. All this circus parade leaves us somewhat in discomfort, and wondering: aren’t we still attracted to the idea of a show we’ve never seen before? And why?