Screened as part of NZIFF 2011

The Last Circus 2010

Balada triste de trompeta

Directed by Álex de la Iglesia

A circus, two clowns, one ballerina, a blood-and-bullets-riddled love triangle, and lots of dark humour. The Tarantino-headed jury gave The Last Circus Best Screenplay and Best Director awards, Venice Film Festival 2010.

France / Spain In Spanish with English subtitles
102 minutes CinemaScope

Director, Screenplay


Gerardo Herrero
Mariela Besuievsky


Kiko de la Rica


Alejandro Lazaro

Production designer

Eduardo Hidalgo

Costume designer

Paco Delgado


Roque Baños


Carlos Areces (Javier)
Antonio de la Torre (Sergio)
Carolina Bang (Natalia)
Sancho Gracia (Colonel Salcedo)
Juan Luis Galiardo (ring master)
Enrique Villén (Andres)
Manuel Tafalle (Ramiro)
Manuel Tejada (master of ceremonies)
Gracia Olayo (Sonsoles)


Venice, Toronto 2010


Best Director, Best Screenplay, Venice Film Festival 2010


Spain’s most popular genre director Álex de la Iglesia (Day of the Beast, Ferpect Crime) is in peak form with this epic that is like some Catalan molotov cocktail of Sam Fuller’s The Big Red One and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Santa Sangre. Javier is an awkward teenager when his father, a clown, is sent to a labour camp: before dying, he tells Javier that he will only find love through revenge. Years on and Javier is a schlubby 30-something about to start working as a sad clown under the control of psychopathic Sergio, a happy clown with a flirtatious girlfriend called Natalia. When Javier falls for her, a chain of events begins that hurtles both men towards total annihilation. An outrageous kaleidoscopic opera of beautiful women, hyper-kinetic action, clowns, Grand Guignol gore, Hitchcockian chases and frenetic fascists, it features so many jaw-dropping moments of bravura filmmaking that viewers may suffer from post-traumatic cinematic sensurround. — AT