“White Face” is a cute little allegory of modern day racism. In filmmaker Brian McDonald’s world, clowns are a race all their own, and discriminated against simply because of their facade. The American Dream just isn’t for everyone it seems.
McDonald, a comic book writer, known for his work on the comics “Tarzan,” “Predator,” and “Lost in Space,” put “White Face” together on a shoestring budget, shot entirely with digital video. “White Face” will doubtlessly get a few chuckles from an audience. The film itself is a mockumentery, interweaving the lives of several everyday clowns, and their continual struggle to somehow advance in a society which is against them.
“I drew on my own experience as a black man, but not exclusively,” said Brian McDonald in a recent interview. “Every minority group seems to think it’s about them in some way.”
Many of the jokes fall flat, and the film itself feels too dependent on cliched one-liners to carry its message. However, McDonald does succeed in drawing energetic performances out of his actors. While he accepted by his fellow soldiers in Vietnam, wise-cracking Ed Yuk-Yuk (Abraham Alvarez) wrestles with everyday life as an auto mechanic. Matt Smith does a splendid job in his role as the persevering Dr.Blinky, who strongly resents the amount of opposition he’s faced with on a daily basis. Even some of his own patients cannot bear the site of him, and refuse to believe the fact that a clown is a real doctor.
“I’m a doctor goddamnit… do you know how rare that is, a Clown Doctor even in this day and age, its rare” says Blinky in one of “White Face”s more affective and profound moments.