Who is Bozo Texino? is the picaresque chronicle of a 16-year search for the source of a ubiquitous rail graffiti—a simple sketch of a blank-staring character with an infinity-shaped hat and the scrawled moniker, “Bozo Texino”—a drawing seen on railcars for over 80 years. Daniel rode freight trains across the West carrying a Super-8 sound camera and a 16mm Bolex, interviewing tramps and brakemen and in his quest discovered the roots of a folkloric tradition that has gone mostly unnoticed for a century.
Taking inspiration from Beat artists Robert Frank and Jack Kerouac, the film functions both as a subcultural documentary and a stylized fable on wanderlust, outsider identity, and escape.
Directed by Bill Daniel, 56 Minutes, USA 2005, B/W, English.