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The Nature of Borowczyk’s Passion: Close-Up on "The Beast"

Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. The retrospective The Many Sins of Walerian Borowczyk is showing February 12 - June 18, 2017 in the United States and in many other countries around the world.As the reverberation of horses fervently neighing and clomping their hooves begins to permeate the opening credit soundtrack of The Beast, one may recall the similarly orchestrated donkey brays that introduce Robert Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar (1966). Or, given its title, and the very basic concept of a young woman becoming enamored with an savage creature, one may be tempted to compare this 1975 feature to the many variations of Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s classic fairy tale, La belle et la bête. One would be more than a little confounded, however, by making either inadequate association. If Walerian Borowczyk’s semi-porn-semi-art-semi-monster movie bears any resemblance to another film or story, it would be

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