La Hora de los Niños (The Children’s Hour). 1969. Mexico. Directed by Arturo Ripstein. With Carlos Savage, Bebi Pecanins, Carlos Nieto, Marta Zamora. 35mm. In Spanish; English subtitles. 65 min.
A couple has hired a clown to babysit their young child so that they can spend an evening out. A clown might be entertaining during the day but it is another story at bedtime. As soon as the parents are gone, the clown’s demeanor is transformed. Evoking the suspense of film noir and trepidation of horror, in Arturo Ripstein’s genre-defying hand the film takes on a surprising aura, accentuated by its minimalist and offbeat tone.