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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Bestie!" )

 

directed by Carsten Frank
Germany 2017

Presumably heavily-influenced by the works of Jess Franco (for whom actor-turned-director Carsten Frank appeared in INCUBUS, KILLER BARBYS VERSUS DRACULA, and REVENGE OF THE ALLIGATOR LADIES) - particularly the latter half of his digital video phase when HD video and desktop editing technology allowed him to take his usual loose narratives of beautiful women in disorienting supernatural or psycho-sexual waking dream states into psychedelically visual territories - SECRETS OF A SOUL (named after the 1926 G.W. Pabst film) probes the fractured psyche of Margarethe (Margarethe von Stern) a young sculptor of morbid wire artwork constantly beckoned towards suicide by the voices of the damned. Traveling to the countryside with friend (agent? mentor? lover?) Beatrice (Beatrice Valentino, MASKS), Margarethe gives vent to her bloodlust and murders Beatrice (or does she?) and is then stalked by two men in black monks' habits who make her the centerpiece of vaguely pagan rights (the monks' dousing rod leads them right between her legs). In the follow-up BESTIE! – it is uncertain whether it is a further adventure of the same character or if Margarethe has been recast in a different scenario – Margarethe is assaulted by a naked, possibly subhuman assailant (director Carsten Frank) who she end up biting to death. Fleeing (back) into the forest, she starts to undergo a bizarre metamorphosis that more insectoid than animal (with the narration noting that there is nothing like the chrysalis in the animal kingdom over cutaways to a spider menacing a hanging, wriggling pupa), feeding on fish and rodents before possibly moving onto bigger prey as the film closes with a voiceover about a captured feral female that terrorized a village's livestock, masturbating furiously with a bone, and making toys out of animal remains. Shot on digital video with wonderfully oversatured colors and seemingly on-camera diffusion rather than video filters, the film contrasts the angular contortions of the possessed, possibly shamanistic Margarethe with those of slugs, snails without shells, and masses of larvae against forest greenery. There is no dialogue and the voiceovers draw from August Strindberg's "Inferno", Plotinus' "Ennéades", the Sun Song of Echnaton (Akhenaten), and Oliver F. Pica's "Diaries of a Wretched Man", while much of the action is accompanied by a soundtrack from the group Vibration. Viewers in search of traditional narrative will be at sea, and its length may even tax fans of experimental films, but this duo does sport a series of makeshift surreal images that demonstrate the ability of the filmmakers (Frank and Stern share writing credits) to spin something out of very little. The further adventure of Margarethe are chronicled in Frank's completed but not-yet-released two-part THE DAY OF THE PURPLE SUN.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 2017 (Germany)

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DVD Review: Quiet Village Films (Occult Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Quiet Village Films

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 2:53:06
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio German Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, German, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Quiet Village Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� 'Secrets of a Soul' (16:9; 1:24:18)
� 'Bestie!' (16:9; 1:25:36)
� Opening Promo for 'The Day of the Purple Sun'
 
Amaray

Chapters 4

 

 

 

Comments

Quiet Village's single-layer DVD is a very simplistic affair with a single menu page allowing playback of the film in German with or without English subtitles. The two films are provided as one video-stream divided into only four chapters, but there are not a lot of "logical" scene breaks in these experimental films. The image can look excessively soft but some close-ups sport more detail than others, so some of the softness may indeed be deliberate. There are no extras.

This limited edition of 500 copies is available directly from Quiet Village Films.

  - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Quiet Village Films

Region 0 - NTSC

 



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