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"Life is a Twisted Circus" The Films of TOD BROWNING: FREAKS

  • 12 Oct 2016
  • 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM
  • Miami Beach Cinematheque at Historic City Hall, 1130 Washington Ave, South Beach
  • 59

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WED, OCT 12, 7p:

LIFE IS A TWISTED CIRCUS

The films of Tod Browning

FREAKS

Directed by TOD BROWNING/1932/1hr, 4mins.

With Olga Baclanova, Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Roscoe Ates 



MGM hired Tod Browning after the success of Dracula at Universal, and he was given pre-code carte blanche to top that film and Frankenstein. He returned to the world of the circus, where he had grown up and performed as a child, and where his previous on-screen success, The Unknown, had taken its inspiration. Olga Baclanova plays Cleopatra, the beautiful trapeze artist who is caught in the act of marrying for money. The groom is himself one of the circus performers, a little person who is one of the many hired for unusual physical attributes. She is really in love with someone else, and she fails to realize the loyalty of her husband's friends and community. Freaks had its world premiere at the Fox Theatre in San Diego in 1932, and it was only there that it played in its original entirety. It was banned in many states and for thirty years in the UK. Conceived by Browning as a story of intolerance, its audacity still shocks to this day as one of the most controversial films ever made.    

“..BY DIRECTOR TOD BROWNING, ONE OF THE FEW TRULY INDIVIDUAL DIRECTORS IN THE U.S.”-Time Magazine

“One of the most powerful films ever made about the need for humanity and solidarity..”-Time Out

“Browning's sympathies are clear; if there are "freaks" on display here, they are not the versatile performers to whom the title seems to allude.”-The Observer

“FREAKS IS ADMIRABLY BONKERS AND QUITE SIMPLY UNFORGETTABLE”-CineVue



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