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Bestiaire


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Product Details

  • Actors: Denis Cote
  • Directors: Denis Cote
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KimStim
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2013
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B00AGKHB0G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,772 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fascinating and beguiling, Bestiaire is filmmaker Denis Cote's (Curling) mesmerizing meditation on the relationships between animals and people through the seasons at a Quebec safari park. This strikingly gorgeous work about the act of looking slyly blurs the line between observer and observed (the film opens with art students sketching taxidermied creatures). And despite lack of a traditional narrative, there is dramatic tension in each exquisitely framed shot: a cage door under attack from a growling lion; the scurrying striped legs of zebras in a pen; the long stare of a bull, straight into camera. Contemplative and enthralling, Bestiaire is cinema at its purest.

Review

Mr. Cote ... forces you to look at the often unseen. It may not be pretty, but it is essential viewing. --New York Times

Serving up artfully framed, static-camera compositions of the animals within their mismatched environs, Cote's actuality-style catalog of context-free tableaux invites auds to free-associate with the scenes put before them. --Variety

Serving up artfully framed, static-camera compositions of the animals within their mismatched environs, Cote's actuality-style catalog of context-free tableaux invites auds to free-associate with the scenes put before them. --Variety

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Crumm on March 12, 2013
Format: DVD
Watching animals watching us watching animals. Six words capture Bestiaire, this unique wordless documentary by Canadian filmmaker Denis Côté that has garnered rave reviews from critics. The Hollywood Reporter calls this film "compelling contemplation of the subjective gaze, applied to both humans and animals."

The New York Times has recommended the film more than once. The Times' Dennis Lim described the movie this way: "Named for the medieval bestiary, an illustrated compendium of animal fables, it is itself a kind of picture book come to life, not to mention a work of unexpected poetry and philosophical richness."

The Times' Manohla Dargis strongly recommended the film, which she described as: "Beautifully shot in digital, with steady framing and long shots that never overstay their welcome, it instead offers up image after image of animals--animals eating, grazing, walking, standing, staring and, at times, panicking." She concluded that this film is "essential viewing."

No, don't worry. This is not a shocking animal-rights propaganda piece in which we confront shocking images before it's finished. And, no, this was not photographed in a multi-million-dollar exploration of the entie planet--the stuff of those eye-popping high-definition nature documentaries from the BBC and other networks. Denis Côté shot some of his material in an art class as people sketched animals. He shot a bit of taxidermy. Mostly, he shot footage in a wildlife park--a small zoo--in Canada.

Now, if that description makes you suddenly turn away from this, dismissing it as an arty documentary made on the cheap ... well, you haven't quietly watched the 72 minutes of Bestiare.

As we view, we are watching animals watching us watching animals.
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