Programme

WRINKLES THE CLOWN

Michael Beach Nichols

USA , 2019 / 78 min / English OV / documentary, horror

Collaboration Luxembourg City Tourist Office (LCTO)

When a clown in Florida offers his services to parents looking to scare their misbehaving children, his Wrinkles persona starts an Internet phenomenon.

In late 2014, a low-res video of a person in a clown mask emerging from underneath a sleeping child's bed appears on YouTube. The description below the video claims that the clown is named "Wrinkles", that he lives in southwest Florida, and that he's been hired by the child's parents to frighten her for misbehaving. The video goes viral. Soon, more mysterious videos of Wrinkles scaring children appear online, along with a phone number to hire him for "behavioural services". Not unlike Pennywise, Wrinkles becomes internet lore – over a million messages are left at the number, the voicemails ranging from disturbing to hilarious. But who is Wrinkles, and why is he doing this?

With incredible access to the mastermind behind the mask, Wrinkles the Clown is a cryptic and playful exploration of the evil clown phenomenon, as well as an inside look at myth-building and the unpredictable spread of imagination in the Internet age.

 

The screening on Sunday, 8th March will be held at a secret place. Meet us at the hotel Meliã (1 Park Dräi Eechelen, L-1499 Luxembourg) on Kirchberg at 6.00 p.m. from where you’ll be taken to the secret screening location. Just…follow the clown!

Please purchase your tickets online in advance as no evening box office will be available.

“Nichols’s tactic lends a refreshing sense of complexity to an otherwise superficial depiction of Wrinkles, finally enabling us to reflect on issues such as sadistic enjoyment, the end of authenticity, the inherently fictitious nature of even the most pseudo-realistic representation, and, most ominously, how medieval our methods for “educating” children still are. Wrinkles the Clown ultimately becomes a commentary on the ways in which fad-obsessed digital culture reduces spontaneity, authenticity, and chance into a set of aesthetic, and synthetic, conventions. Drama is no longer a question of emotion, but of standardized mise-en-scène, like clown makeup. The world that makes Wrinkles a star is the same one that allows for the Kardashians to claim that their TV series is “real and unscripted” with a straight face. It’s a world desensitized to falsehood, where all is controlled and choreographed, especially feelings like fear, and that defense mechanism borne out of it: violence.” Diego Semerene, Slant Magazine, 02/10/2019

“The most fascinating part of the documentary is the social construct surrounding the mythos of Wrinkles. A little over halfway through the film, there is a big twist. […] This deviation creates the greatest aspect of the film: the sociological and psychological impact of a personified boogeyman in modern day society. […] Ultimately, Wrinkles is a concept more than a man, or even a boogeyman. He’s a reflection of what society’s imagination can do with a single image or a single video. He’s hated. He’s loved. And he’s feared. It’s all relative and up to the person of how they perceive him. As much as this documentary is about Wrinkles, it’s also about our culture. This is the film’s strongpoint.” Marisa Maribal, SlashFilm, 22/09/2019

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Cast & Credits
Cast 
Christopher Barcia, Trevor J. Blank, Andrew Caldwell, George Holden, D.B. Lambert, Ken Miller, Benjamin Radford, Rena Sellars, Sean Whitaker, Jarrett Wideman
Screenplay 
Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker
Cinematographer 
Michael Beach Nichols
Sound 
Tzvi Sherman, Tom Paul
Music 
T. Griffin
Production 
Topic Studios
Distribution 
Magnolia Pictures
Biography

Michael Beach Nichols is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and the recipient of Jerome Foundation and Rooftop Filmmaker grants. His acclaimed breakthrough feature film, Welcome to Leith (2015), premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and later aired on PBS' Independent Lens, where it was nominated for an Emmy for Best Documentary. His feature documentary Flex is Kings (2013) was the opening night film in the Viewpoints section at the Tribeca Film Festival. Recently, he directed and shot his fourth feature film, Wrinkles the Clown (2019), for the Academy Award-winning Topic Studios (Spotlight). He is the co-founder of No Weather, a filmmaking collaborative based in New York City.

Filmography
  • 2019 – Wrinkles the Clown (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2017 – Beast of Man (court-métrage documentaire / documentary short / Dokumentarkurzfilm)
  • 2017 – First Step (6 épisodes de la série TV / 6 episodes of the TV series / 6 Folgen der Fernsehserie)
  • 2015 – Op-Docs: Separatist (1 épisode de la série TV / 1 episode of the TV series / 1 Folge der Fernsehserie)
  • 2015 – Welcome to Leith (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2014 – Delivery (court-métrage documentaire / documentary short / Dokumentarkurzfilm)
  • 2013 – Flex Is Kings (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2012 – Bklyn Flex (4 épisodes de la série TV / 4 episodes of the TV series / 4 Folgen der Fernsehserie)
  • 2010 – The Man Behind the Curtain (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)