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THE CLOWNS (1971, Hen’s Tooth, G, subtitled, $39.95) A genuine classic, Fellini’s pseudo documentary on the clowns of his childhood certainly has moments of charm and shows a deep affection for those on the fringes of society. The circus denizens, such as a cigarette-smoking ”mermaid” found in the North Sea, are alluring to the kid in everybody. The clowns themselves, who reminisce about the old days and whose only purpose in life seems to be found in the simple joys of make-believe mayhem, exert a magical pull. But there’s a lot of unfocused thumb-twiddling here, and the video transfer appears to have been been made from a poor, scratchy print. C -LO’T