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1,489 Ratings

The Beast

La Bête

Directed by Walerian Borowczyk
France, Hungary, 1975
Drama, Comedy, History


The head of a failing French family 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 then travel out to the French countryside to meet with the family, unaware that a mysterious ‘beast’ is stalking the vicinity.

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The Beast Directed by Walerian Borowczyk
It is a paradox from beginning to end. Like its revelatory though inevitable conclusion, the film would be tragic if it weren’t so bizarre; it would be wholly erotic if it weren’t so shocking; and it would be patently sexy if it weren’t so funny. As a keen provocateur and multitalented artist, Borowczyk knew how to be sensational, and The Beast, his best film, is an appropriately surreal and dazzling mixture of farcical humor and uninhibited sensuality, all with the logic of perpetual reverie.
March 22, 2017
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The film containing this preposterous zoophilic sexual assault fantasia is interpenetrated by it in every respect… The Beast’s elegant, chateau-set mise en scène, its soundtrack, and even the very impetus for its production are all deeply beholden to this bizarre dream sequence’s profound irrepressibility.
June 02, 2016
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In this second part of the film, the continuity and correspondences established by the intercutting between Lucy and Romilda constitute a brilliantly structured elaboration of the idea of mirrored eroticism already mentioned. Ultimately, The Beast is all about the temporary madness of Lucy’s restless dreams and her fantasies of excess—a realm that not many filmmakers (even the best ones) would dare visit.
January 19, 2016
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What are people saying?

  • Karthik's rating of the film The Beast

    Female pleasure (not cathexis: the Lesbian still a problem figure) deified; the male drive lampooned (the pathetic men: beasts, murderers, pederasts), even transmuted into a product of her fantasy (the phallus unveiled, its trompe l'œil penetrative power put offscreen, is a flower, a spouting breast!)The filmic surface tipsily veering between Bacchic participation & ironic spatial humor! A cure for erotic cachexia!

  • animalcalls's rating of the film The Beast

    If you can handle the graphic, extreme close-up, un-simulated horse-on-horse fucking that occurs in first couple of minutes, you'll be in for a treat. Borowczyk is becoming a favorite.

  • tidal waif's rating of the film The Beast

    3,5 Pop culture folklore & mythology delivered via a sleazishly buoyant film which before being a satire is telling enough at face value: the ursinoid concupiscent lifeform recalls the intermediary figure btw human & animal that reigned for centuries over Pan-European unconscious owing to bipedal fighting stance, omnivore meals, sexual preferences 'more hominem': the brown Bear. I'd hand tickets @Boro w/ Pastoureau's

  • dionysus67's rating of the film The Beast

    A film replete in (re)doublings of the human-beast hierarchy from the bourgeoisie's love for pets and furs to nobility and colonial subjugation, parents and children, mentors and molesters. If the spurt of the female body and the beast's phallic cathexis render Freud the paradigm par excellence the automatism of fluids bears on French materialism to which Boro's camera-eye pays homage to, effacing moral hierarchies.

  • Lights in the Dusk's rating of the film The Beast

    Beginning with a lofty quotation from Voltaire, the film's real centrepiece, a bestial scene of violation & seduction in a pastoral setting, feels closer to a pornographic Monty Python sketch. Much of the film is actually quite dull; a stilted country-house mystery that goes nowhere. However, it works on a level of sheer audacity; creating something that while absurd, has much to say about desire & the beast within.

  • Jason's rating of the film The Beast

    LA BÊTE is handily Borowczyk's most benevolently outré excursion beyond the outer reaches of good taste and decorum. If you take it, as many will, like a slap to the face, it would credit you to view this slap as an act of service. It all makes eminently good and merry philosophical sense. Let's please have a good-natured larff at the carnal basics of our constitution as one weird-ass ultimately-endearing species.

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film The Beast

    This is the extended version of the one in 'Immoral Tales'. It's really two films in one. Somehow he got some real actors to form a sort of framework for the story. Then he filmed a separate porno beastie film, which he then inserted into the first film. Normally a 1 star film, but he gets an extra star for audacity.

  • josé neves's rating of the film The Beast

    Fussy contradiction: from a film full of female body sexualization, what stands out is the artifact of the monster's virile member in constant ejaculation, or rather, the desire for women, in a voyeuristic perspective, is stressed by the power of the phallus, even though by an intermediary huge artifact. In a film that began by promising a Buñuelian irony, class analysis included, stands out the kitsch.

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