Klown

After watching Mikkel Norgaard’s Klown, I didn’t know what to make of it. And upon a second viewing, I still don’t. It’s hard to articulate the precise moments that were just so hilarious that I found myself doubled over weeping tears of laugher or audibly gasping because I was painfully embarrassed, even though I was watching it alone in my bed. But what I do know is that Klown has proven to be one of the funniest and most pleasurably painful films I have seen in a long while. Based on the Danish television sitcom of the same title, the film stars Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen, two of Denmark’s most beloved comedians. The deliciously humorous film follows Frank and Casper’s misadventures on a debaucherous canoe trip after Frank kidnaps his unhappily pregnant girlfriend’s nephew in an attempt to prove he can be a good father. What ensues is one pratfall after another as Casper and Frank set out on a journey for what they want while following their worst instincts. I caught up with Norgaard about bringing these characters from the small screen to the cinema, the consequences of being an asshole, and adapting for the American audience.

Director Mikkel Norgaard on His Devilishly HeartwarmingKlown

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Everybody hates clowns. Well, that’s true except for the people who run the Klown Doll Museum in Plainview, Nebraska. I don’t know if spelling clown with a ‘k’ makes makes everything less scary, but I sincerely doubt it. A local musical group from the 1950s called the Klown Doll Band is to blame for all this mess. Apparently they were so popular that this little town became “klown-obsessed” and decided to open a Klown Doll Museum. Clowns came pouring in from around the country; Mattie Vanderpool of South Dakota alone donated 1500 clowns. There are now over 7,000 clown dolls (apparently the world’s largest if you care about those things) and no two items are alike. About five years ago, the museum had to double its size because of the growing collection. There are ceramic clowns, stuffed clowns, music box clowns, coffee mug clowns, clown magnets and even a Christmas tree decorated with clown ornaments. Every year there is a Klown Festival Parade. So if you suffer from coulrophobia, I suggest you stay as far away as possible from this place. Also, do not read this book

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