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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

'GreasePaint' DVD: Documentary on the Hardest Working Clown in Show Business

Product Details
The hot-off-the-presses Cinema Libre Studio DVD release of "GreasePaint" is a great addition to the catalog of documentaries from that company. This story of a man who recruits his wife and teen son to participate in the man's traveling troupe of clowns is a terrific follow up to the recent Unreal TV reviewed documentary "ride report: 10,000 miles to Rio" about two ill-prepared "dolts" taking an epic motorcycle journey. 

Film festival recognition of the quality of  "GreasePaint" include the "Golden Reel Award" at the Nevada International Film Festival and the "Audience Choice Award" at the Gwinnett Center International Film Festival. Recognition of the talent of the subjects of the film include consecutive awards for "Clown of the Year."

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of a trailer for "GreasePaint" does especially well conveying the themes and style of the film. Seeing two performers who are still in full clown makeup and costumes backstage expressing anger is one of the more compelling images.

The aforementioned man is Joey Thurmond, who becomes a full-time clown after careers that includes making a living as a pro wrestler, a police officer, and a rodeo cowboy.  The decision to go full Bozo by performing at fairs through the South and the Midwest follows a realization that that activity pays more than striving to keep the streets safe for law-abiding citizens.

The predictable (but still highly entertaining) aspects of "Greasepaint" include Joey creating his NoJoe character, his wife creating her clown persona, and son Tyler transforming into his Toot alter ego. This element expands into circus historians and other experts offering nice overviews of the art (rather than merely profession) of circus clowning and the advantages and disadvantages of literally pulling up big boy pants and putting on a show.

Less expected (but even more compelling) topics of "GreasePaint" relate to the tough challenges of literally being the boss of the family, spending all day every day together regarding said family business, and facing the challenges of a father-teen boy relationship under those tough conditions. Do-or-die financial risks, potential for serious physical harm, and a grueling schedule further amp up the tension.

Additional drama comes in the form of serious legal trouble for a troupe member, stories in which the NoJoe gang and other troupes have managed to have the show go on despite impending births and other obstacles, and relied-on funds not being available.

Footage of routines, which include a hilarious bit in which NoJoe and Toot cook chicken soup, adds more summertime fun to "GreasePaint." This also reminds us that Ringling Bros parent company SellsFloto does not hold a monopoly on presenting good clowning fun.

The special features include deleted scenes and trailers for the film.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "GreasePaint" is welcome to email me; you alternatively can connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.