Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The Beast (La Bête) 1975

Film Poster.
Walerian Borowczyk directed 40 films between 1946 and 1988; he was born in Kwilcz, Poland and trained as a painter and lithographer, winning Poland's National Award in 1953. He began his film career as a film poster designer, then started making short animated films in the late 1950’s. Moving to France in the early 1960’s he gained a reputation as a leading animator before switching to live action features which became increasingly controversial due to their explicitly erotic and sensational content.

His 1975 feature The Beast brings to mind the work of Italian film director Pasolini and Serbian director Dusan Makave. Based on a novel, The Beast is a comedy drama involving the head of a failing French family who thinks that fate has smiled down on him when the daughter of a wealthy man agrees to be married to his son? The daughter and her aunt the travel out to the French countryside to meet with the family, unaware that a mysterious “beast” is stalking the vicinity!

The central and most erotic part of the film revolves around a dream sequence involving a pretty young girl whose chased through the forest by the large hairy beast of the title, a sequence that the more broad minded will undoubtedly enjoy. This unique movie, full of eccentric characters and banned from release in the UK for 25 years, is certainly bizarre but strangely enjoyable.

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