• Review: Bestiaire (2012)

    From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Sun Sep 18 11:23:12 2016
    BESTIAIRE (2012)
    A film review by David N. Butterworth
    Copyright 2016 David N. Butterworth

    *** (out of ****)

    Billing itself as "a zoo two steps away from Montreal," Parc Safari in Hemmingford, Quebec serves as the mise en scene for Denis Cote's elegant, wordless contemplation of man's fascination with--and indirect dependence on--animals. There's also something trippy going on in "Bestiaire" (from
    the Medieval Latin word *bestiary*, a collection of moralized fables about actual or mythical animals), something about the observer and the observed,
    but if you don't want to play that particular head game you can appreciate instead the director's intimate visual sensibility--almost every shot is exquisitely framed. Caged and semi-free-range animals pace, lounge, and
    stand around looking beastly, whether it's the frenetic stripes of penned zebras clamoring for freedom or the nonchalant scrutiny of a bull staring
    us down. An all-too-brief taxidermy sequence early in the film's second
    half shifts the focus somewhat, but is equally fascinating. Neither documentary nor video essay, "Bestiaire" is more like a coffee table book thumbed through on film. Cote simply sets up his static camera, quietly
    backs away, and lets his subjects do the talking as the seasons come and
    go. The inherent power of this artful screen exercise, however, is that it forces us regard these creatures as much more than dumb beasts. If you're truly curious about where to find fantastic beasts, try "Bestiaire."

    David N. Butterworth

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)