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LOVE THE BEAST

SYNOPSIS:
Eric Bana's father, Ivan, gave his 15 year old son a second hand Ford GT Falcon Coupe, which Eric has treasured and rebuilt (several times) since. Eric explores his 25 year love affair with the car he calls The Beast, and what it means to nurture such a relationship with Dr Phil. He also documents racing in the 5 day Targa Tasmania Rally, and visits Jay Leno's enormous vintage car collection.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A rev head's delight, Eric Bana's two year odyssey to document his 25 year relationship with a motor vehicle is a sometimes entertaining, sometimes (unavoidably) indulgent work that is good hearted, sincere and partially illuminating as a portrait of the Bana family. But we only hear briefly from his wife, who indulges Eric's passionate hobby with a pragmatically relaxed view.

The documentary follows the history of the car and its various incarnations, and we follow Eric as he talks to a disdainful Jeremy Clarkson (always good copy) who points out how it's quite normal to have an emotional relationship with a car, and the contempo guru on life, Dr Phil. I could have done without Dr Phil.

The most interesting discovery for me is Jay Leno's staggering collection of vintage cars, which are housed in what looks like two specially fitted warehouses. Eric misses the opportunity to question Jay Leno on this, but we do see him make two guest appearances on his TV show.

The racing sequences, shot with cameras inside and outside the car are exhilarating enough, although it is likely that the average punter will find them unbalancing the film. There is also a strange little incident in which we meet a couple whose run down old Ford is the subject of much attention from an old Eric Bana car-club team member, but I guess the filmmakers found it offered some extra 'colour'.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

LOVE THE BEAST (M)
(Aust, 2009)

CAST: Documentary featuring Eric Bana, Jay leno, Jeremy Clarkson, Dr Phil

PRODUCER: Eric Bana, Peter Hill, Matt Hill

DIRECTOR: Eric Bana

CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Rose, Rod Pollard

EDITOR: Conor O'neill

MUSIC: Yuri Worontschack

RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Madman

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 12, 2009







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